WhatsApp introduces stricter limit on forwards

Ruben Fields
April 7, 2020

This limit will be in place once a message has been previously forwarded five times or more.

Earlier, in August, WhatsApp added a "Forwarded" label to messages that were not composed by a close contact of the user. This makes the messages less personal than other messages sent or forwarded on WhatsApp.

Starting today, messages that have been identified as "highly forwarded", meaning they've been sent through a chain of five or more people, can only be forwarded to a single person. That experiment had worked well.

"In addition to this change, we are working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information". The goal of the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information hub is for health workers, educators, small businesses, and others to support one another during this crisis.

"We've seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation", WhatsApp said.

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Messaging app WhatApp has introduced new restrictions and features to keep a check on the spread of misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are now caught forwarding fake news or sharing messages or posts that could incite tensions, violence or are remotely provocative, incendiary or instigative, you could end up in jail for up to 3 years. The messaging app owned by Facebook was reported to have made the "greatest gains" in usage among social media apps.

This crackdown by WhatsApp should come as no surprise.

Platforms like WhatsApp are being increasingly used by people amid lockdowns and social distancing measures to prevent the spreading of coronavirus infections. In fact, these can be extremely risky, and the consensus is to stay away from such information-and most definitely not spread this misinformation among the WhatsApp Groups you may be a part of.

WhatsApp said the change was part of efforts to fight the spread of disinformation, particularly around the coronavirus outbreak. It also limited message "forwards" to five chats at a time.

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