WhatsApp users can only send messages up to five times after the implementation of the new update.
WhatsApp sets a worldwide limit of five times the number of times a message can be sent in order to eliminate misinformation and to spread rumors.
” From today on, all users of the latest WhatsApp versions can now proceed to only five chats at once, which will help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts, “said the company in a blog post update confirming a Reuters report.
WhatsApp users could forward a message 20 times before.
The messaging platform, which has about 1,5 billion users, has tried to find ways to stop the app from being misused. The new update, which will be launched on Monday, follows recent events worldwide through the misinformation app and the spread of rumors.
The five-point limit is an expansion of the WhatsApp trial in India to limit the transmission of messages by users, which was launched after rumors of child abductors went viral on the app, leading to mob lynching throughout India.
Five people were reportedly lynched in Dhule, India, after a rumor that they were child abductors was circulated on the app, and at least 12 more people were beaten by similar messages. “WhatsApp assessed this test carefully and listened to user feedback for a period of six months.
The forwarding limit reduced the number of forwarded messages around the world significantly, “said the WhatsApp spokesman.
“We will continue to listen to user feedback and look for new ways to address viral content over time. “In October, WhatsApp joined the Brazilian presidential race, with far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro allegedly using the app to send thousands of messages to his opponent.
Bolsonaro, who convincingly won the election, denied these claims, saying in an interview with the Brazilian website O Antagonista that although he knows that campaigning tactics are illegal, he cannot control the actions of entrepreneurs who are friendly to him. He added that he had no way to know and to take action to stop the scheme.
WhatsApp, known for its end-to-end encryption capabilities, was not the only social network involved in the spread of rumors and misinformation. Facebook is still struggling with the possibility that Russian-linked social media troll accounts might have influenced the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, removing hundreds of pages and accounts linked to Moscow-based news agency Sputnik ‘s staff last week.