Popular messaging service WhatsApp says it will now limit the forwarding of viral content, citing the need to stop the spread of misinformation…
Facebook subsidiary messaging service WhatsApp has revealed that it’s putting forwarding limits on viral content. This new policy applies to messages flagged as “highly forwarded,” or those sent through a chain of five or more users.
WhatsApp Viral Message Forwarding Limits Announced
The new WhatsApp viral message forwarding limit comes at a time when the site is attempting to prevent the broadcasting of bad information. For much of its eleven-year existence, users could forward a single message to as many as 256 with a few simple taps. Now, it’s scaling that way back to just one, at least for content that’s been identified as viral.
This isn’t exactly new. Back in 2018, the company started experimenting with the number of times a message could be forwarded. Then, the service began labeling forwarded messages for the first time. Last year, it reduced the number of forwarding recipients to five people.
The company wrote in a recent blog post:
“We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers. However, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”