WhatsApp has begun testing ‘fake news’ countering changes to its messaging app following criticism of the platform from the Indian government over its alleged role in a number of lynchings.
The changes mean that users around the world will only be able to forward messages to 20 people at once. Meanwhile, in India, the limit has been set to five people in hopes to curb the spread of false information which is being blamed for the recent rise in mob violence around the nation. Previously, the limit was 250 people.
In addition to the forwarding limit, WhatsApp will remove the ‘quick forward’ functionality in India, meaning they can no longer share photos and videos at speed with ease.
According to WhatsApp, India sees people “forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world”.
The changes come shortly after the Facebook-owned app began marking forwarded messages as ‘forwarded’ to make chats “easier to follow” and let users know if messages were originally sent by someone else.