Facebook's WhatsApp limits users to five text forwards to curb rumors

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This followed global concern that the platform was being used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or full reach.

WhatsApp is expanding its message forwarding limit to across the world, almost six months after piloting the feature in India.

In South Africa a number of advertising scams rely on WhatsApp users forwarding a luring message to friends in return for supposed free air time or vouchers, or access to a list of people due to be paid money.

Facebook's WhatsApp is taking some action against the spread of misinformation and fake news on its platform.

However, WhatsApp and security experts have said these backdoors would endanger the privacy people have when using these apps and that the backdoors could potentially be exploited by criminals as well.

Reuters reports that WhatsApp will be limiting the number of times a message can be forwarded by a single user. "We'll continue to listen to user feedback about their experience, and over time, look for new ways of addressing viral content", WhatsApp spokesperson said.

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The company will now be rolling out the cap on "forwards", which has been in place in India since last July, globally.

The messaging app also played a role in the Brazilian elections past year, where it was used to circulate false news stories ahead of the vote.

The firm has since launched print, radio and television advertising campaigns to educate users on the dangers of misinformation.

WhatsApp said it was introducing the feature after a six-month test in India.

According to an emailed press release, users can now only forward messages to five contacts or groups at once.

An updated version for Apple's iOS users is then expected to be rolled out soon after.

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