WhatsApp will stop users from forwarding a message more than than five times. It is part of parent company Facebook’s attempts at stopping “misinformation and rumor” spreading on its platforms.
Global Forwarding Limit Introduced Immediately
WhatsApp Vice President for Policy and Communications, Victoria Grand, made the announcement Monday at an event in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. She said that the company was “imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today.”
The update to bring in the limit will go to Android users first. iOS users will get the update shortly after (via Reuters). Prior to this, WhatsApp users could forward a message to 20 individual contacts or groups they are a member of.
A forwarding limit had previously been introduced in India. It happened in July after rumors spread on social media resulted in killings and attempted lynchings.
Facebook’s Stricter Political Advertising Rules
The move is part of attempts by Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, to stop fake news spreading on its platforms. Last Wednesday, it announced stricter rules on political advertising in countries holding elections in 2019. Only people in a country holding a vote will be allowed to buy political advertising there. The rollout started in Nigeria the day of the announcement.