WhatsApp limits forwarding function to fight misinformation | Sci-Tech

A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustrati

A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustrati

WhatsApp's initial cap on message forwarding comes after several killings in India previous year occurred as a result of false information being circulated on the social media network.

WhatsApp is to limit the number of times users can forward any single message to five in an attempt to stop false information spreading on the platform.

The messaging app also played a role in the Brazilian elections previous year, where it was used to circulate false news stories ahead of the vote.

WhatsApp has brought into force a limit on the amount of messages each user can forward on to their contacts.

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The new restrictions come into force globally with immediate effect.

Now it is to be rolled out to all WhatsApp users globally, the company confirmed, where previously messages could be forwarded up to 20 times.

Facebook recently announced that it had removed hundreds of Facebook pages and accounts on Instagram that were being used to spread fake news.

It means spotting fake news and online bullying will be hard for WhatsApp even with the limitation on forwarding messages.

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WhatsApp's vice president for policy and communications, Victoria Grand, announced the update at an event in Jakarta on Monday, Reuters reported.

The firm has since launched print, radio and television advertising campaigns to educate users on the dangers of misinformation.

WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forward limit, starting Monday, said WhatsApp's head of communications Carl Woog.

WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook in 2014, wants to use the limit as part of its global plan to fight "misinformation and rumours".

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Android users will be affected today, with iOS users getting the imposed limit afterward, although no time has been specified.

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