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WhatsApp Limits Text Forwards to Five to Check Spread of Rumors

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Published on : Jan 23, 2019

Spread of fake news has become the bane social media these days. This has forced governments across nations to implement strict rules to thwart those. This, in turn, has egged the social media giants to come up with stricter filters and new policies to check the spread of fake news.

Take for example instant messaging service WhatsApp. It has become a platform for spreading fake news, leading to murders and violence. This has caused Facebook, owner of WhatsApp to limit the number of times one can forward a message to 5. The company executives announced on Monday that this can arrest the spread of rumors and misinformation.

Vice president of policy and communications at WhatsApp Victoria Grand announced that to do so they are limiting it to five messages.

Rule First Implemented in India Now Applied Worldwide

Earlier, users of WhatsApp could forward a message to 20 people or groups. Now they want to bring down that number to 5. This rule was implemented in India in the month of July. The move was a result mob killings and lynching attempts owing to spread of rumors on WhatsApp platform.

The instant messaging app with a whopping 1.5 bn users has been trying to figure out ways to stop misuse of the app. Those include manipulated photos, spread of fake news, audio hoaxes, and videos sans context. As of now there is no way in which they could be monitored for their origin and full reach.

This is because of the end-to-end encryption which the app leverages. Using it, users can exchange photos, texts, and videos without being monitored.