Whatsapp limits text-forwards to five recipients

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WhatsApp messenger is globally limiting the number of times a user can forward a message to five, in a bid to fight “misinformation and rumours” said company executives.

“We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today,” Victoria Grand, vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said at an event in the Indonesian capital.

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. Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups.

WhatsApp, which has an estimate of over 1.5 billion users, has been trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app and fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or full reach.

WhatsApp’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, WhatsApp’s head of communications Carl Woog told Reuters.

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