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Feature Limiting WhatsApp Forwards to 5 Chats Per User Goes Live

The feature, which went live in India on 8 August, was introduced to help contain the spread of fake news.

Updated
Tech News
2 min read
WhatsApp in India gets new set of features. 
i

WhatsApp India on Wednesday rolled out its latest feature which allows users to forward messages to just five chats. This is part of WhatsApp’s extensive efforts to curb the spreading of fake news via its platform which has become prevalent over the past few months.

With the Indian government talking tough on WhatsApp's failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platform, the feature is likely to make an impact, if it reaches out countrywide.

The limit has started to appear this week for people in India who are on the current version of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Spokesperson

In addition to the feature, WhatsApp has also published a new video to educate its users, saying it is expanding its user education campaign on how to spot fake news and hoaxes.

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WhatsApp said that the new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, "will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app".

“We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one.”
WhatsApp Spokesperson
Try forwarding a message to more than 5 people and you’ll see this on WhatsApp. 
Try forwarding a message to more than 5 people and you’ll see this on WhatsApp. 
(Photo Courtesy: WhatsApp)

The forwarded message limit ensures that people cannot send a single message, picture or video to more than 5 chats at a time. This, it believes, could end up hindering the flow of sending forwarded messages on a large scale, helping contain the spread of such messages.

Earlier this year, the Facebook-owned messaging platform had rolled out a new update for users which labels all messages that are forwarded to them.

Many experts believe while limiting forward messages to just five times per user is a good start but it is not enough to stop fake news being circulated.

WhatsApp has also been told to focus on preventing the menace of fake news through its platform, before looking to venture into the payments business in India. It has also rolled out WhatsApp for Business, which is Facebook’s way of saying that it’s time to start making money out of its messaging platform.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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