Under the new limits–which take effect globally from today–a user can only forward a message to five individuals or groups. They will be blocked from forwarding the same message to additional individuals and groups above that limit. The move is an attempt by the Facebook-owned messenger service to fight the spread of fake news on its platform. The new limit was announced today by WhatsApp vice president for policy and communications, Victoria Grand, in Jakarta, reports Reuters.
The five-recipient limit has been in place in India since last July and since then users in other countries around the globe were limited to forwarding a message to no more than 20 individuals and groups–until today. WhatsApp hopes the new global limit of message forwards to five individuals or groups will help do something to curb the spread of fake news and rumors on its platform. The spread of fake news on WhatsApp had previously been linked to the deaths by lynch mob of over a dozen people in India because of child kidnapping rumors that spread about them on the messaging platform.