WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

The Indian government has said WhatsApp users forwarding fake news to big groups of people led to a spate of lynchings.

While the company is yet to respond to the notice, the blog post said the company believes that "these changes - which we'll continue to evaluate - will help keep WhatsApp the way it was created to be: a private messaging app". "There is a need for bringing in traceability and accountability when a provocative/inflammatory message is detected and a request is made by law enforcement agencies", it added. Also in India, WhatsApp will remove the quick forward button placed next to media messages.

And with WhatsApp's new limit on forwards, it's conceivable that users will continue to game the feature - perhaps by exiting a message and forwarding it to another five or 20 groups. The lynchings were sparked by rumors spread on Facebook and WhatsApp in India.

Prior to the introduction of these features, India's information technology ministry has said in an aggressive statement that WhatsApp could face legal action if it doesn't take proper initiatives to tackle the spread of misinformation and fake news. Starting sometime soon, you will no longer be allowed to forward a text, photo, or video to as many people as before.

"How they explained it to us in a presentation is that if a person wanted to forward one message to 100 people, earlier he could do it easily".

Under unrelenting pressure from the Indian government to effectively handle the menace of rumours and fake news on its platform, Whatsapp has announced another series of measures to curtail mass forwarding of messages, images and videos.

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Now a look at what are these changes and how daily users of WhatsApp will be affected by this in India.

AFP reports that the Indian government has now publicly warned that it may take action against WhatsApp over the issue, with the information technology ministry issuing a harshly-worded statement on Thursday.

In light of the recent incidents, WhatsApp is planning to restrict message forwarding in India.

Users will also now only be able to forward one message to 20 groups, rather than an unlimited number. More than 1.5 billion people across the world use the messaging app.

In January, the company released WhatsApp Business for Android for small businesses to respond to customers and manage a presence on the messaging platform.

WhatsApp has posted a new blog post revealing the changes it's going to make for forwarding messages option. We find WhatsApp efforts on this matter admirable, considering the company could have just ignored the problem altogether, since it only provides the means for people to send messages.

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