The cross-platform messaging app has taken a substantial measure to limit the spread of rumors and spam messages. The move has come at a time when countries like India are facing the brunt of rumored messages, which have claimed the lives of many people.
So, keeping in mind about such incidents and to help the cause of notifying people about the forwarded text, WhatsApp has added labels that indicate when a message has been forwarded. Also, the restrictions have been imposed on sharing a message with not more than five chat contacts. The company has also planned to axe the forward option from the present position that enabled users to share images and videos.
WhatsApp stated in a blog post, “Today, we're launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. In India - where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world - we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once, and we'll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.”
Foregoing, a user was able to forward a message on to multiple groups, but from now onwards, the limit has been put for 20 groups worldwide. This is intended to put the brake on spammed messages.
India is the largest market of WhatsApp with 200 million users, and such a restriction is bound to hamper the user experience, but for the general good, the steps taken seems to be necessary.
“We believe that these changes - which we'll continue to evaluate - will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app.”
The company vows to take all the required measures in order to stay up with all the privacy concerns of its users. “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.”
The update looks to be timely rolled out, as the Indian general elections are due for next year. Facebook surely don’t want to see itself in any other scam, like that of US elections where the social media giant was criticized for giving free hand to companies like Cambridge Analytica, which further used the users' data for personal use.
Some other media reports also suggested that Facebook and WhatsApp are planning to introduce a fake news verification system to contain rumors and misinformation. The feature was recently used in Mexico. For the same, both the companies even had a word with India’s Election Commission.
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