Gandhinagar: In an additional step towards curbing the menace of fake news being spread through social media, instant messaging app WhatsApp have introduced a new feature to its app which will limit the forwarding of messages on its platform to only five chats at a time. The platform is also considering removing the quick forward button that appears next to media messages.

As of December 2017, WhatsApp announced that it had more than 1.5 billion monthly active users on its platform, of which 200 million active users belonged to India. In a blog post on Friday, WhatsApp said, “Today, we're launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. In India - where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world - we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we'll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.”

“We believe that these changes - which we'll 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,” the Facebook-owned firm.

The Indian government had warned the IM platform of legal action as it has been constantly misused to propagate fake news, which in the recent times has triggered a spate of mob lynching incidents in various parts of the country. According to a report by Firstpost, 24 people have lost their lives since the beginning of the year to mob attacks that were sparked by rumors, mostly which were of child-lifting circulated through this messaging platform.

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