The Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp will be limiting the forwarding option to just 5 users at once.
The move is made to curb the fake rumors and news. Recently few fake news doing rounds on WhatsApp have resulted in dire consequences like mob lynching and killing of people.
The app makers will also be removing the quick forwarding button next to media messages. This move has been made to discourage the mass forwards in the largest market of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp to Curb Rumors
People use WhatsApp in India to forward, message, photograph, and video and likewise. The company releases the statement “we believe that these changes – which we’ll continue to evaluate – will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app,”
the company will also be running the test on these new changes globally, they have not yet revealed the set limit of the messages forwarding other than India.
WhatsApp has around 200 million users in India alone and hence they have limited the forwards to 5 users.
WhatsApp is End-to-End encrypted for user Saftey
“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,” stated the statement of the company.
On Thursday, the Indian government has issued a second letter to Whatsapp ordering for “more effective solutions” to bring in “accountability and facilitate enforcement of the law” in the light of increased incidents of rumors on Whatsapp causing lynching incidents in the country.
Ministry of electronics and IT (MEITY) had issued a strict warning to WhatsApp earlier this month also, ordering WhatsApp to “irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumors and provocation” on its platform.
The messaging platform has responded to the government letter stating that it will use technology along with new features to filter forwarded messages and work with researchers to resolve the issue.
Below is the complete statement by WhatsApp
More changes to forwarding
We built WhatsApp as a private messaging app – a simple, secure, and reliable way to communicate with friends and family. And as we’ve added new features, we’ve been careful to try and keep that feeling of intimacy, which people say they love.
A few years back we added a feature to WhatsApp that lets you forward a message to multiple chats at once.
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.
We believe that these changes – which we’ll 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.