WhatsApp limits text forwards to five recipients to fight rumors
WhatsApp is limiting the number of times users can forward a message to five, in an attempt to limit the spread of misinformation and rumors.
Facebook executives announced on Monday that the messaging app will impose a limit of five messages all over the world as of today.
Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The five-recipient limit expands globally a measure WhatsApp put into place in India in July after the spread of rumours on social media led to killings and lynching attempts.
Moreover, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated trolls and bots have been misusing the service to spread rumors and incite violence across the Middle East, especially in Egypt, Iraq and Libya.
WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, has been trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app, following global concern that the platform was being used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or full reach.
The app's end-to-end encryption allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and video beyond the purview of independent fact checkers or even the platform itself.
WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forward limit, starting Monday, WhatsApp's head of communications Carl Woog told Reuters.
Android users will receive the update first, followed by users of Apple's iOS.