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m3n4.net December 19, 2018


After Mob Killings, WhatsApp May Restrict Forwards To 5 Chats In India

20 July 2018, 02:53 | Tara Lloyd

The messaging app, owned by Facebook (FB), now allows users to forward messages simultaneously to as many people and groups as they want.

WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, "will help keep WhatsApp the way it was created to be: a private messaging app".

WhatsApp in India has come under scrutiny after forwarded messages on the platform have allegedly incited mob-fury, triggering multiple cases of lynching across the country, where there are more than 230 million monthly active users.

In India, WhatsApp said it will also test a lower limit of five chats - individual or group chats - at a time and remove the quick forward button next to media messages.

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The ministry also called on WhatsApp to enable the "traceability" of messages when an official request is made.

The move comes within hours of the government directing the social media giant to come out with more effective solutions that can bring in accountability and facilitate law enforcement in addition to their efforts towards labelling forwards and identifying fake news. WhatsApp wants to limit the number of chats for a forwarded message.

The government on Thursday reissued a warning to the company that it could face legal consequences if they remained "mute spectators".

"This change is going to make it hard for people to forward messages, it's going to add a layer of friction to the process", said Nikhil Pahwa, a co-founder of advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation.

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In order to stop the spam and fake news in India, Whatsapp has introduced a major change which will affect everyone in India.

WhatsApp has informed the Election Commission (EC) that it will take various steps ahead of polls to prevent the misuse of its messaging platform, and bring to India its fake news verification model which has been used in other markets. Not only that, but the instant messaging company will also be removing the quick forward button which appears next to the media message.

WhatsApp said Thursday it is planning to limit message forwarding in India, where two dozen people have been killed this year in violent mobs fueled by rumors spreading on the global messaging platform, and is instituting a new global limit on forwards around the world. Messages sent over the platform are end-to-end encrypted, which means that WhatsApp is technologically incapable of reading them - or performing any other scanning, automated or human-driven.

WhatsApp will also meet non-government bodies and other groups in New Delhi, the capital, on Friday to discuss ways to curb the spread of false messages, said one source at the company, who asked not to be named, invoking company policy.

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