In order to stop the spread of misinformation in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic, WhatsApp on Tuesday said it would place new limits on the forwarding of messages.

With effect from Tuesday, messages that have been identified as “highly forwarded” can be sent to a single person through WhatApp which was earlier could be sent through a chain of five people.

According toreports, now WhatsApp will allow its users to send frequently forwarded messages to only one chat at a time as part of efforts to curb the spreading of misinformation amid the pandemic.

Also read: #CheckTheFake-4: WhatsApp ‘forwards’ and the impact

The latest move comes as countries including India have taken preventive steps to tackle the spread of fake news, misinformation and rumours regarding COVID19 on social media platforms.

The Facebook-owned WhatsApp in its blog on Tuesday said: “We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time…we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation.”

WhatsApp last year launched the ‘forward’ label with double arrows to indicate that the message did not originate from close contact.

The widely used messaging app also limited message ‘forwards’ to five chats at a time.

The company said it believes it is important to slow the spread of the “highly forwarded” messages to keep WhatsApp a place for a personal conversation.

Amid lockdown, social media platforms like WhatsApp are being increasingly used by the people.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown with effect from March 24 midnight as a preventive measure to contain the spread of deadly COVID19.

WhatsApp has more than 400 million users in India.


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