WhatsApp is added a new feature to restrict the spread of spam and misinformation on the platform. The app will now enforce a forwarding limit on all type of media, videos, photos which are shared on the platform. In India, WhatsApp will test a lower limit of five chats at once, and then remove the quick forward button next to the media file, be it audio, pictures or videos. The global limit on WhatsApp forwards will be 20 chats. Currently the limit is 250 chats in India. WhatsApp will also removed the quick forward button from media messages in India.
This new restriction means that if a media message is forwarded five times from the same account, then WhatsApp will disable the option for forwarding it further. However, the feature does not appear to be live for all India users yet. We found that we could forward the same media file to more than five contacts at once.
WhatsApp in a blog post open it up that India is the market where people forward more messages, photos and videos than any other country in the world. India is the app’s biggest market with over 250 million users. It is also the market where WhatsApp is facing increasing scrutiny over mob violence and lynching reports after misleading videos went viral on the platform.
The Facebook-owned messaging app in a letter to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) had written that it was horrified by the reports of violence in the country and announced new steps to curb the spread of misinformation.
WhatsApp notes, “Today, we have change the limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. In India – where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world – we’ll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.”