Latest in Gear

Image credit: AP Photo/Patrick Sison

WhatsApp limits forwarding worldwide to fight hoaxes and rumors

It's hoping a strategy from India will work in other countries.
539 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

AP Photo/Patrick Sison

WhatsApp limited forwarding in India as part of an effort to curb hoaxes and rumors that could lead to violence, and now that policy is spreading. The Facebook-owned messaging service has announced that it's lowering the forwarding limit worldwide from 20 people or groups to the same five Indian users have dealt with since July. The update applying the limit will start to roll out on January 21st, starting with Android users and reaching iOS later.

The chat platform hasn't said whether or not its India move has proven effective. The reduced limit would slow the spread of rumors, but it wouldn't necessarily stop them -- people could still spread fake or doctored media. It's a step, though, and it represents a growing acknowledgment at Facebook that its services can play a role in fostering misinformation.

As it stands, WhatsApp has to walk a fine line between accountability and privacy. Its end-to-end encryption remains a key selling point, especially in countries where government surveillance is widespread. WhatsApp isn't about to weaken that security to inspect the content of messages, so it's limited in what it can do to address the messages themselves.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
539 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

View
Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels catch fire at stores

Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels catch fire at stores

View
A fourth 'Matrix' movie is happening

A fourth 'Matrix' movie is happening

View
Sega’s remastered ‘Yakuza’ bundle for PS4 comes to the US

Sega’s remastered ‘Yakuza’ bundle for PS4 comes to the US

View
NASA confirms mission to Jupiter's moon Europa

NASA confirms mission to Jupiter's moon Europa

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr