WhatsApp adds strict forwarding limit on messages during COVID-19 pandemic

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Mindlessly forwarding messages that may seem to harbour fact is one way to get yourself into loads of trouble during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In a bid to slow down the spread of misinformation and spam, WhatsApp is now further limiting message forwards on its platform.

From today, messages that have been recognised as forwarded often can now only be sent to one additional contact, breaking the spread of the message.

Think of it as social distancing but in message form.

The company does believe people should forward messages, of “funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful” or “support for frontline health workers” but it has noted that misinformation has increased massively in recent weeks too.

“We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation,” it added.

“We believe that now more than ever people need to be able to connect privately. Our teams are hard at work to keep WhatsApp running reliably during this unprecedented global crisis.”

The company has previously instituted similar measures back in 2018, beginning in India. It revised those rules in January 2019.

Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn

Andy Walker, former editor


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