Facebook’s WhatsApp is taking some action against the spread of misinformation and fake news on its platform. Fake news has long been a huge problem on WhatsApp, even though it hasn’t really gotten a ton of attention from the tech industry.
In countries like India and Brazil, misinformation is spread using WhatsApp and it’s believed to have affected elections in the past. WhatsApp is now limiting the number of forwards per message to only five users/groups, meaning that those who are using WhatsApp to spread misinformation will now be quite limited. You could forward a message to up to 20 users/groups at a time in the past.
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The company told Reuters that the limitation is in action to help fight the spread of rumors and misinformation after the platform became a weapon in the political battleground in Brazil. Being able to forward a message to up to 5 people at a time is still quite a lot if you think about it, so misinformation on WhatsApp isn’t going away anytime soon. This is a nice chance, but it is arguably not enough.