WhatsApp Limits Forwarding Message To Five Chats Globally
Last year WhatsApp put a restriction for Indian users, prohibiting them from forwarding more than five chats at once as well as removed the quick forward button for media messages in India – a market that has over 200 million WhatsApp users.
The move comes at a time when governments and regulators across the world are looking at effective ways to curb the spread of fake messages through digital platforms. Reportedly, WhatsApp yesterday made an announcement it will be implementing this change, globally. limit message ‘forwards’ to five chats at a time. This will continue to help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts, believes the company.
The messaging platform – which counts India, Brazil and Indonesia among its major markets claimed that it will continue to listen to user feedback on the user experience, and “over time, look for new ways of addressing viral content”.
A WhatsApp spokesperson told in a press statement that during the period when they were testing this feature, the company saw a 25% reduction of forwarded messages which were being shared on WhatsApp. “We believe this is a reasonable number to reach close friends while helping prevent abuse,” the spokesperson added.
In India, the Facebook-owned company had faced flak from the government after a series of mob-lynching incidents, triggered by rumours circulating on WhatsApp. Right now, the government of the country i.e. the Indian government is lately being seeking to make social media platforms more accountable by mandating them to introduce tools that can disable “unlawful content”.
One of the amendments being mulled in the IT intermediary rules will require them to enable tracing out of such originators of information as needed by government agencies that are legally authorised. WhatsApp, as part of its efforts, had also brought out full-page advertisements as well as television and radio campaigns offering tips to users on how to spot misinformation.
However, the company has so far, resisted the government’s demand for identifying message originators, arguing that such a move would undermine the end-to-end encryption and the private nature of the platform. This, in turn, might create a dangerous potential for serious misuse.