New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) With the Indian government talking tough on WhatsApp’s failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platform, the instant messaging service on Wednesday said it has begun rolling out its forward message limit to five chats for over 200 million users in India.
The Facebook-owned platform last month announced to launch a test to limit message forwarding to five chats in India.
“The limit has started to appear this week for people in India who are on the current version of WhatsApp,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
In addition, the instant messaging app also published a new video to educate its users, saying it is expanding its user education campaign on how to spot fake news and hoaxes.
“This week, WhatsApp is publishing a new video that explains the importance of the ‘forward’ label and calls users to ‘double check the facts when you’re not sure who created the original message,'” said the company.
People forward more messages, photos, and videos in India than any other country in the world.
Globally, the company allows users to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).
WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, “will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app”.
“We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one,” it said in an earlier statement.
Media reports surfaced this week, claiming the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked telecom companies for ways to block social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram and Instagram in case of a threat to national security and public order.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), however, said the government should look for “more effective” steps to curb fake news and maintain public order, instead of blocking mobile applications.