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WhatsApp limiting message forwarding globally to fight misinformation

almost 4 years ago by IanDorfman

WhatsApp has decided to roll out a limit of 5 people for message forwarding worldwide. This is following a rollout in India back in July of 2018.

The restriction is being implemented in order to combat the spread of misinformation and scamming. Before this change, WhatsApp users could forward any one message to up to 20 other users. As the service is encrypted end-to-end, fact checking services and Facebook, its owner, cannot see the information or audiovisual content being spread in order to check its legitimacy. Because of this security, the amount of measures that can be taken in order to combat the spread of false and malicious information is limited.

This limit has started to roll out to Android WhatsApp users worldwide, with the iOS app and web version of the end-to-end encrypted messenger receiving the five-person message forwarding limit soon.

Further coverage: Reuters Engadget The Verge VentureBeat

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WhatsApp is an iPhone and Android messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.