WhatsApp is limiting forwarding messages to five chats to curb spread of fake news

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WhatsApp is limiting forwarding of messages from contacts in a move to curb the spread of fake news, hate speech among other things according to an announcement the Facebook-owned firm made.

“We built WhatsApp as a private messaging app – a simple, secure, and reliable way to communicate with friends and family. And as we’ve added new features, we’ve been careful to try and keep that feeling of intimacy, which people say they love. A few years back we added a feature to WhatsApp that lets you forward a message to multiple chats at once,” the firm announced. “Today, we’re launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp.”

According to the firm, In India – where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world -it will test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and remove the quick forward button next to media messages. The firm says these changes will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app.

The new feature comes after a series of violent mob lynchings in India which led to the death of a tech worker suspected to be a child abductor over false WhatsApp messages were spread through groups.

Recently, WhatsApp started labeling forwarded messages in a bid to curb online hoaxes. The feature is also expected to help users make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow, as well as determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else.