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Fighting Fake News: WhatsApp Rolls out Forward Message Limit for Indian Users

Guwahati: Messaging app WhatsApp has rolled out a feature in its update that shall prevent a user from sending more than 5 messages to more than 5 different persons at one go. The Facebook-owned messaging app has come up with this feature for only its 200 million Indian users.

The new feature rolled out by WhatsApp is an attempt by the immensely popular free messaging app to curb the spread of fake news in the form of “Whatsapp Forwards”.

WhatsApp is publishing a new video to explain to users about the significance of “forward” levels and how to know who created the original message or content if they are in doubt regarding a message.

The move by WhatsApp came following allegations that users are circulating fake news via this messaging platform. It will determine a limit of 20 globally, while in India, the limit will be 5 for forward messages. India is the biggest market for the messaging app with around 200 million users.

In an earlier blog post, WhatsApp had said that the new feature will apply to every Indian user where more number of messages, photos and videos are forwarded than any other country. It will also remove the quick forward button for media messages.

WhatsApp also expressed their commitment towards safety and privacy of users and hence they have the end-to-end encryption feature. It will roll out more such features to improve the app,

The limit on forwards started to appear from this week for Android users, while ioS users have still not faced the restriction, indicating that the restriction will be rolled out in phases.

 

Here are few points about the new WhatsApp roll out for users:

  • The 5 forward message is limited to 200 million Indian users only.

 

  • The new feature is being rolled out in phases. iOS users have not faced this restriction yet.

 

  • The new feature will prevent a user from sending more than 5 messages to different users at one go. When a user tries to send a message to the sixth person at one go, the app will notify him that he has reached the limit.

 

  • However, the user can return to the message and again send it to 5 persons or groups. Hence, Whatsapp is not restricting mass forwards.

 

The move comes at a time when the Department of Telecommunication is talking about blocking social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram etc.