[Update: Changes are live] WhatsApp to impose sterner message forwarding restrictions to curb rampant misinformation

WhatsApp recently activated a feature that marks forwarded messages in a bid to tone down the growing misinformation perpetuated through the app. With this feature, users can easily distinguish a message that was picked up from some other place and forwarded to them and those that were specifically drafted for them. Still, this hasn’t stopped people from spreading misinformation via the much-loved app.

To improve on the previous move, WhatsApp is set to take much sterner measures to curb fake news on the chat app. There’s nothing strange, BTW, rather, WhatsApp plans to limit the forwarding feature in several ways.


For instance, unlike before, those in India, where the new restrictions are expected to hit most, won’t be able to forward a message to as many people as they’d want to, rather, the figure will be limited to five conversations. Also, you will no longer see the quick button to forward a media file that is usually attached to media files because of the apparent abuse the feature has been subjected to.

In India, a number of mob lynchings have been reported as a result of rumors that started and spread rapidly via WhatsApp. With this move, the Facebook-owned app hopes it will stop these horrifying events.

WhatsApp says it will continue to evaluate all the planned changes before actually implementing them.

Update: Apparently, WhatsApp 2.18.222 beta now limits users in India to forwarding to a maximum of 5 chats at a time.

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