WhatsApp has started rolling out the five-chat limit for forwards in India, the move it had announced back in July in order to help curb the spread of fake news and misinformation on the platform, reports The Indian Express.
The Facebook-owned messaging app is facing scrutiny in India, after it was reported that viral video messages shared on the app resulted in lynching, mob violence in some parts of the country.
WhatsApp will restrict the number of forwards to 20 for global users while it is testing a lower limit in India of 5 chats.
WhatsApp confirmed that it has begun rolling out its forward message limit in India, which is its biggest market at 200 million users, according to news agency IANS.
The new restriction will ensure that option for forwarding a media message like video, photos or audio is disabled if already forwarded five times from the same account.
India is the market where people forward more messages, photos and videos than any other country in the world, WhatsApp earlier revealed in a blogpost.
“Today, we’re launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. In India – where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world – we’ll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” WhatsApp had written in the blogpost.
WhatsApp hopes to keep the platform a private messaging app by limiting the number of forwards, and also stop quick spread of misinformation.
WhatsApp has also published a new video to educate its users on how to spot fake news and hoaxes. “This week, WhatsApp is publishing a new video that explains the importance of the ‘forward’ label and calls users to ‘double check the facts when unsure about who created the original message,'” said the company.
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