In its continuing measures to curb spread of fake views and rumours, specially in India, Whatsapp has now announced that it is limiting the number of forwards per user per message, to five.

We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today,

Victoria Grand, vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said at an event in the Indonesian capital.

This measure holds special significance in India’s context, since world’s biggest democratic exercise — the Indian General Elections 2019 — will happen in May and Whatsapp has been used by miscreants to spread fake news regarding political figures.Indian Government has already been pressurising Whatsapp to come up with measures that are strict enough to control spread of fake news at the origin itself.

Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The new limit of five is in expansion of an already existing measure WhatsApp put in place in India in July. The same came into force after the spread of rumors on social media led to horrific killings and lynching attempts.

Globally as well, Whatsapp has faced the ire of general public and politicians alike, for becoming an easy medium for spread of fake news. In Brazil’s presidential election last October, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro was accused of using the app to spread falsehoods related to his main opponent. He eventually ended up with a rallying victory and later denied the charges.

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