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WhatsApp is fighting fake news with new message restrictions



In the recent case of social media privacy and security restrictions, the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has announced that it will limit the number of times an individual message can be forwarded.

WhatsApp's vice president of politics and communications, Victoria Grand announced the update on an event in Jakarta on Monday, Reuters reported.

The announcement company first rolled out the new restrictions for users in India last summer after a series of lynchings that allegedly followed fake news reports shared on the platform. Five men were killed in Maharashtra's Dhule district following rumors of kidnapping overwhelmed Indian WhatsApp users. Thousands of others had been killed due to similar false messages on WhatsApp, according to Times of India .

WhatsApp's original transmission restrictions were introduced shortly after July lynchings, partly in response to India's government requirements. "We believe that these changes ̵

1; which we continue to evaluate – help keep WhatsApp as it was designed to be: a private message app," the company explained in a blog post.

Now extended to all users, the restrictions prevent a single message from being forwarded more than five times. The app has previously allowed up to 20 from the front per. Message. "WhatsApp carefully assessed this test and listened to users' feedback over a six-month period," the company said in a statement sent to news business. "The extension limit significantly reduced forwarded messages around the world."

WhatsApp's parent company, Facebook, recently said it removed hundreds of fake pages, users and groups associated with Russia involved in disinformation campaigns. The operations created "network of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing," according to Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's Cyber ​​Security Policy Manager.

Facebook has also dedicated Full Fact, a UK-based nonprofit fact-checking organization, to help address and minimize the spread of fake news.

Write to Rachel E. Greenspan at rachel.greenspan@time.com.


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