WhatsApp’s new limit on chat forwards: Important things you need to know
WhatsApp has limited the forwarding of frequently forwarded messages to one chat a time in attempts to curb the spread of Covid-19 misinformation. What does this mean for you?
WhatsApp has limited the forwarding of frequently forwarded messages to one chat a time in attempts to curb the spread of Covid-19 misinformation. Messages that are frequently forwarded are highlighted by WhatsApp with a label.
What are 'frequently forwarded messages'?
Any message that has been forwarded more than five times on WhatsApp is labelled as a 'frequently forwarded message'. You will see the label on top of the message when you receive it.
WhatsApp also lets you know if a message is a forward or not by mentioning that as a label as well.
WhatsApp started marking labeling messages as forwarded or frequently forwarded to stop misinformation from spreading on WhatsApp. WhatsApp and misinformation has had ugly trysts in the past with not just wrong information and political propaganda, but things reached a peak with mob lynchings being incited due to messages being forwarded on WhatsApp.
If you receive a message that is labeled as forwarded or frequently forwarded, the onus lies on you to decide and verify the authenticity of the information being shared in it. And consider the implications before you forward it to anyone else.
At a time like this, WhatsApp is full of fake remedies to cure Covid-19 and wrong information about the virus, the disease, symptoms and precautions one must take to prevent it. Wrong information could end up taking someone's life.
What does this new rule on WhatsApp mean?
The new WhatsApp rule for forwarding messages will not let you forward a 'frequently forwarded' message to more than one other person. Earlier, you could forward a 'frequently forwarded message' to five other people.
WhatsApp's limit of five forwards was put in place to curb political and religious propaganda in the past. Now, the limit has been brought down to one.
Does that mean you can't forward any message?
No. You can forward other messages to five people at a time. But not these frequently forwarded ones. If any message has already been forwarded five times and you happen to receive the message after that, spot the label.