In July 2018, the message forwarding limit in WhatsApp was decreased to a maximum of five chats in India. And now, WhatsApp has decided to roll out this limit to forwarding messages on a global scale. Now the limit of forwarding WhatsApp messages to five chats will not just be applicable in India, but all WhatsApp users in the world will have to comply with it.
This encompasses both Android and iOS versions of the popular instant messaging app. The update has already started rolling out to WhatsApp users across the globe. The primary reason behind rolling out the update on a global level is to curb the spread of fake news and for WhatsApp to maintain its role as a private messaging platform.
WhatsApp had said when it first launched this update in India, “We built WhatsApp as a private messaging app – a simple, secure, and reliable way to communicate with friends and family. And as we’ve added new features, we’ve been careful to try and keep that feeling of intimacy, which people say they love. 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.”
There have been a lot of fake rumours that perpetuated in the form of WhatsApp messages over a long period of time. The fake news spread via WhatsApp messages bred a lot of contention amongst users and led to trolling and online violence. There have also been some severe cases in which this online bullying was followed by offline violence. This led to a few deaths as well. All this forced WhatsApp to take measures to prevent fake news from reaching to the masses.
And hence it updated its message forwarding feature that limited the number of forwards to five chats. This, WhatsApp said, would ensure that sensitive news is not spread beyond a certain limit and conversations can be as private as possible. With the global roll out, WhatsApp is applying the same strategy for other countries as well.