You have heard of WhatsApp – of course, the messenger app with more than 1.5 billion monthly active users. Despite or perhaps because of its popularity, there seems to be a constant flow of horrible security issues and annoying other problems: One of the most recent one has been the influx of fake news and spam messages.
Forwarding limit: Only 5 instances at once instead of 20
There is a wildly popular function in WhatsApp and that’s the message forwarding function. Sadly it’s not only used to share messages and texts with your family and friends, but also to send around chain letters and – sadly – fake news and messages.
The letter lead to mass lynchings in India after rumors of child-abduction and organ harvesting were spread via the messenger. WhatsApp decided to react and after a 6 month trial period in India decided to limit the forwarding function worldwide:
“WhatsApp carefully evaluated this test and listened to user feedback over a six-month period. The forward limit significantly reduced forwarded messages around the world. Starting today, all users on the latest versions of WhatsApp can now forward to only five chats at once, which will help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts. We’ll continue to listen to user feedback about their experience, and over time, look for new ways of addressing viral content.
What does that mean for you?
If you are usually not sending mass messages to a lot of people, probably not a lot. The fake news and spam messages you will get could decrease, which would probably be nice. No matter what though – if you do not know the recipient or the message looks somehow fishy take a step back and think before you believe and/or spread it any further.