n its efforts to fight fake news and it’s spread, Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has announced that it has globally lowered the forward limit for chats to five contacts or groups.
“We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today,” Victoria Grand, vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said at an event in the Indonesian capital.
Before, WhatsApp allowed users globally to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).
VentureBurn reports that WhatsApp first initiated the lower limit in India back in July as part of a test, following a series of violent lynchings that were triggered by the spread of false information through WhatsApp. Today’s move represents the expansion of this restriction to all markets around the world.
To recall, the “Forwarded” feature mark was introduced in response to mounting pressure over the role of the app in the spread of fake news in a number of Asian countries. The feature update flags all forwarded received messages as “forwarded.”
People around the world have, however, already identified a loophole with this; arguing that users can still forward messages to up to 256 users (maximum number) in a group, giving a total of 1,280 users for 5 different groups assuming full capacity in each group. Alternatively, there is nothing to stop someone from returning to a message once they’ve reached their 5 chat limit and forward it again to another 5 people or groups.
The update will be available to Android users first, followed by iOS users on a date yet to be announced.