Facebook inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp is limiting worldwide the number of times a user can forward a message to only five (5) others with effect from Monday 21st January, 2019. The organisation seeks to combat fake news and rumour mongering.
The information was disclosed on Monday at Indonesian capital by the company executive, previously, a WhatsApp application could forward a message to as much as twenty (20) individuals or groups.
The initiative was triggered by the incident which happened in India sometimes in July, 2018 when a rumour was spread on social media that lead to the killing and lynching attempts.
According to, Victoria Grand, the vice president policy and communication at WhatsApp “We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world from today Monday,” the WhatsApp which has about 1.5 billion users has been trying to strategise on how to discourage public from abuse of the platform.
Globally there has been concern that the platform in recent time has been used by some individuals to propagate fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes with no way to monitor their originator.
Recently, the platform was used as part of the political battleground in Brazil presidential election in Oct, 2018 with far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro being accused of using the platform to spread falsehood against his opponent.
Bolsonaro, who ended up emerging to victory, has denied the allegation.
The messaging application was also used to mobilise support for massive truckers strike in Brazil during May, 2018.
The truckers whom paralysed all sector of economy, from fuel delivery to shipment and blockage of roadways for 10 days, bringing everything to a standstill.
According to Premium Times, WhatsApp will dish out an update to activate the new forward limit, commencing from Monday, WhatsApp’s head of communications Carl Woog said.