WhatsApp Officially Rolls Out Message Forwarding Limit for Indian Users
Instant messaging app WhatsApp has finally rolled out the limited ‘forward message’ option for India, which restricts a forward message to just five users, the company said on Wednesday. The Facebook-owned company has been under fire ever since several incidents of lynching, linked to rumors spreading through WhatsApp, were reported from different parts of India. “The limit has started to appear this week for people in India who are on the current version of WhatsApp,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Indian government talking tough on WhatsApp’s failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platform, the forward message limit to five chats for over 200 million users in India.
“The limit has started to appear this week for people in India who are on the current version of WhatsApp,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
In addition, the instant messaging app also published a new video to educate its users, saying it is expanding its user education campaign on how to spot fake news and hoaxes.
The company said it will also publish a new video, explaining the importance of the ‘forward’ label to educate people on how to spot fake news. The company has urged people to double check facts in case they are not sure about its source. “As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help,” said the company in its blog post.
Globally, the company allows users to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).
WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, “will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app”.
“We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one,” it said in an earlier statement
Last three months age, India has seen 39 incidents of lynching due to mass misinformation spread on WhatsApp. The government has also come under pressure to take steps to stop such incidents from happening. Three weeks ago, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sent out a letter to the telecom companies, asking them to explore various possible options and confirm how social media networks like Instagram or Facebook or WhatsApp or Telegram, etc, can be blocked on the internet.
However, The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), however, said the government should look for “more effective” steps to curb fake news and maintain public order, instead of blocking mobile applications.