With the Indian government’s tough on stance on WhatsApp’s inability to check the spread of fraudulent and violence inciting content on its instant messaging platform,WhatsApp announced on Wednesday that it has started the process of rolling out its forward message limit to five chats for over 200 million users in India.
WhatsApp, which is a Facebook-owned platform spread the message last month, that the company was about to launch a test with the agenda of limiting message forwarding to five chats in India.
On Wednesday, the company announced in a public statement, “The limit has started to appear this week for people in India who are on the current version of WhatsApp.”
Along with the limits on forward messaging; the instant messaging app has also released an educational new video for its users. WhatsApp said that it is expanding its user education campaign on how to differentiate fake news and hoaxes and legitimate news stories.
On the subject of the video, a company spokesperson said, “This week, WhatsApp is publishing a new video that explains the importance of the ‘forward’ label and calls users to ‘double check the facts when you’re not sure who created the original message.”
According to WhatsApp statistics; people in India forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world.
On a global scale, the company allows users to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups) WhatsApp stated that the new changes will continue to be evaluated.
WhatsApp said in prior statement, “will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app”. “We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one.”
Media reports surfaced this week, claiming the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked telecom companies for ways to block social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram and Instagram in case of threat to national security and public order.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), however, said the government should look for “more effective” steps to curb fake news and maintain public order, instead of blocking mobile applications.