WhatsApp message forwarding limit introduced in India to fight fake news

A new WhatsApp message forwarding limit has been introduced in India. Here’s why the measure has been made necessary.

WhatsApp message forwarding limit

The Facebook owned messaging platform, has become the SMS alternative in our Country and has been the dominant IM app for a few years. That’s mostly thanks to the rise of Jio and cheaper data plans, everyone has access to mobile internet.

While this is a good thing, it is also bad, because many people use WhatsApp to forward messages which they receive, without confirming if the message which they got was actually true. This may not be an issue if the message they received and forwarded is a joke or a meme, or an inspiring story.

Advertisers and spammers are using WhatsApp to send messages to thousands of people everyday, which creates chaos. Phishing attacks, and malware infections can occur, just like that. People tend to click on links without giving a second thought to it, or even glancing at the sender’s name and photo.

In a bid to reduce such issues, WhatsApp began to add a “forwarded” tag to all messages which were forwarded by users.

But, it was to no avail and there are even more serious problems too, for e.g.: when the service is used to spread hate messages and fake news. There have been several violent incidents and crimes which were related to WhatsApp groups. So, in order to combat all this, the company has decided to come up with a WhatsApp message forwarding limit, for all users in India.

What is the WhatsApp message forwarding limit ?

There is now a “5 chats at once limit”, which will only allow users to forward a message to 5 groups of people instead of the 20 groups limit which is imposed globally. Basically, you can no longer forward the messages to a ton of people, like you could do prior to today’s WhatsApp message forwarding limit.

It actually does get worse, because the WhatsApp message forwarding limit also removes the quick forward button (the forward arrow), in media messages.

This process is being tested, and depending on user feedback, could be made a permanent security measure This is kind of the 100 SMS/day rule which TRAI still continues to impose in India, across all mobile service providers. That was done to prevent spam, so you could say that the WhatsApp message forwarding limit is a leaf taken from TRAI’s book. It is a wise move indeed. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

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Ashwin Karthik
Originally a Business Grad, Ashwin is a natural at testing and reviewing apps & games for Windows and Android Apps, as well as flashing ROMs. A proud owner of a Redmi K20, he is also an avid gamer and loves playing on his Computer, PS4 & Nintendo consoles.

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