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WhatsApp will roll updates to limit text forwards to five recipients globally: Reports

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp (FB.O) messenger service is globally limiting the number of messages that a user can forward from his WhatsApp account. The company executives on Monday said that users will now be permitted to forward a particular message to a maximum of five times. WhatsApp has taken this step to fight misinformation and rumors that were rolling out lately over the messenger app, as per the executives.

“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.

Earlier, users on WhatsApp were allowed to forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. But following the lynching attempts and killings that took place in India due to the spread of rumors on the social media platform, WhatsApp limited the message limit to only five recipients in the country. The firm has now decided to put the five-recipient limit globally, as per reports.

With 1.5 billion users already connected to WhatsApp and many more users connecting daily, the company is trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app. There have been reports that users in India in July tried to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes to create an ill environment in the country. Such a practice performed over the messenger app ended up in many deaths and lynching attempts in the country with WhatsApp having no way to monitor their origin or full reach.

WhatsApp is based on an end-to-end encryption program that allows millions of users to exchange texts, photos, and video with only access to the receivers. The media or text shared over the platform is beyond the reach of the platform.

WhatsApp’s head of communications, Carl Woog, told the reporters that WhatsApp will set the new limit globally through updates that the company will start rolling out from today itself.

There have been reports that WhatsApp will first send the updates to the Android users followed by the Ios users.