You can forward a message just 5 times now on WhatsApp

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 20, 2018 Published on July 20, 2018

Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp on Friday said it will not allow its users in India to forward a message to more than five chats — be it individual or group — at one go. It will also remove the quick forward button that appears next to media messages.

“We’re launching a test to limit forwarding on 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 five chat forwards at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” the company said.

WhatsApp said the move is part of its efforts to reduce the circulation of fake messages on the platform that have even allegedly incited mob lynching incidents in India. The company has around 200 million users in the country.

The Centre has warned against the company over fake news and false information being circulated on its platform.

It has already sent two notices to the company, the recent one being on Thursday, asking it to come out with effective solutions to curb the menace of fake news beyond just labelling forwards.

“The government has not received any response to the letter yet,” a senior government official told BusinessLine. The Centre will wait for a response from the company before taking any ‘further step’, the official added.

In the latest notice, it was also warned that mediums used for propagation of rumours are liable to be treated as ‘abettors’ and can face legal consequences if they remain ‘mute spectators’.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has informed the Election Commission (EC) that it will take various steps ahead of polls to prevent the misuse of its messaging platform, and bring to India its fake news verification model which has been used in other markets.

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Published on July 20, 2018
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