WhatsApp has become the most widely used messaging platform in the world, which means it’s being used to share memes, jokes and other media including hoaxes, fake news and other unsavoury material. Whatsapp has begun steps to limit this with what appears to be a server side update limiting the number of forwards for a single message to 5 recipients.
At an event in Jakarta, Indonesia, WhatsApp Vice President for policy and communications, Victoria Grand confirmed the update, which went live on the platform on Monday saying
We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today
It’s not the first time that WhatsApp has limited forwarding of messages to just five users, with the platform initiating it the restriction in India to curb the spread of rumours which then led to incidents of violence. Brazil too has taken measures to block the platform, or limit its reach after it was identified as a communication source for Brazil’s truck strike which blocked their roadways in the middle of last year.
WhatsApp are one of the many messaging platforms that offer end-to-end encryption to protect your messages, so this is their way of trying to maintain your privacy while not being used for evil.
Personally I don’t think there’s too much that can be done by these companies to prevent their platform being used in such a manner as they aren’t able to read messages, so damage control is their aim at this stage.
How will this new limit impact your messaging habbits?