WhatsApp recently began testing a new feature which prevents users from forwarding a messaging to more than five chats, and just a few days after the feature’s discovery in the testing phase, the functionality went live in India for Android users.
The message forward limitation functionality is now live for iOS users and is available on the stable version of WhatsApp. The latest update for WhatsApp (build no. 2.18.81) has begun rolling out in India and we have verified that the forward limit feature is now live.
As you can see in the screenshot attached above, you can no longer select more than five chats to forward a message. When you try to select more than five chats at a time, WhatsApp will now warn you about the ‘forward limitation’ with a pop-up notification.
With the Indian government reprimanding WhatsApp for acting as a channel for spreading fake news and inciting violent acts, the messaging giant has been adopting measures to restrict the spread of misleading and hoax stories. Thus, WhatsApp recently took a firm stand and announced that it will limit the ability to forward content to 5 chats and this feature has now started rolling out to users in India.
Limiting users’ ability to forward messages is one of the many steps WhatsApp is taking to curb the menace of fake news, such as starting a reward program for researchers to contribute in helping eliminate fake news from its platform, alerting users about unsafe links, publishing full-page adverts in newspapers to raise awareness, developing a digital literacy program among others. But now that the forward limit feature is live on Android and iOS and is widely available to all users in India, we do hope that the spread of fake news in India dwindles.