WhatsApp introduces new message forwarding limit to curb misinformation

A couple of years ago, WhatsApp added “forwarded” label for any message that the user forwards from one chat to another. Later, the company limited message forwarding to five chats at once globally.

Now, to curb the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19, WhatsApp has again started limiting message forwards. This time, it is limiting message forwarding to only one chat at a time.

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It’s a soft limit so the user can keep forwarding the same message over and over again to different people. But the limit on forwarding to just one chat at a time introduces more friction and helps slow the rate of forwarding overall.

WhatsApp says that the company has seen a significant increase in the number of forwarded messages, which might lead to the spread of fake information during this lockdown period. The company adds that the previous limit on forwarding messages to curb virality led to a 25 percent decrease in message forwards globally at the time.

The company adds that it is also working directly with the governments, WHO, NGOs and over 20 national health ministries. WhatsApp has also donated $1 million to the International Fact-Checking Network.