Whatsapp is trying to fight against the spread of fake news by limiting users from forwarding messages more than five times. This rule was first applied in India last year and now being spread worldwide.
Victoria Grand – The vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp said
We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world” in an attempt to address “misinformation and rumors.
The limit of forwarding to five people has introduced in India 6 month ago after the service was blamed for lynching caused by the spread of misinformation through the Whatsapp. Two mob attacks led to the deaths of seven people. At the same time, the limit of 20 recipients which includes both individual and the groups was introduced worldwide. The WhatsApp said that the restrictions would “help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app.”
The company told to BBC about the decision of restricting to five recipient limit comes after carefully evaluating the results of its implementation and tests in India. With up to 256 people allowed in a group, one person still could theoretically forward a message to 1280 other users.
Whatsapp which is very popular in Brazil was used to spread false and misinformation and rumors there during 2018 Brazil elections. This was the extent of the service’s influence that it might have affected the election results in Brazil. It led to calls for the number of forwards to be limited to five in Brazil.
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