WhatsApp has made a big change to the feature of forwarding messages. WhatsApp users will now only be able to forward a message 5 times, it has been officially announced by WhatsApp.
Before the introduction of this new feature, the users of the messaging app could forward any single message to up to 20 other individuals or groups. This new change is for everyone who uses WhatsApp all around the world. This move came in an effort to cut down on the spread of misinformation.
While fake stories and deceitful groups on Facebook have been the focus in the US, fake news on WhatsApp has become a big menace all around the world.
In Brazil, it became a pretty problematic issue ahead of the country’s presidential elections in October, as bad voting information, conspiracy theories, and false stories about candidates spread across the network.
According to one of the survey, widely shared images in Brazilian political group chats found that more than half of the top 50 images were fake and wrong.
This latest move by WhatsApp could help in decreasing the spread of bad information to some extent, it won’t necessarily be as limiting as it sounds. You will be still able to forward the message to groups, with each group including up to 256 people. That means a forwarded message could be put in front of nearly 1,300 people, despite this latest five-time limit.
WhatsApp has already tested five-forward limit in India since July 2018, following a series of allegation which was sparked by users mass-forwarding each other false information to each other.
WhatsApp’s vice president for policy and communications Victoria Grand announced the change at an event in Jakarta on Monday.