Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

WhatsApp enforces restrictions on forwarded messages in India

WhatsApp enforces restrictions on forwarded messages in India

The move will help users identify fake news and hoaxes, effective in curtailing the spread of fake news on the platform.

The report of the flaw comes as the Facebook-owned company is coming under increasing scrutiny as a means of spreading misinformation due to its popularity and convenience for forwarding messages to groups.

WhatsApp's "quote" feature can also be used to change the identity of the sender, to make it appear as if it came from a person who is not even part of the group.

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. According to news agency IANS, WhatsApp confirmed that it has begun rolling out its forward message limit in India, which is its biggest market at 200 million users. Also, the quick forward button next to media messages was disabled.

The new restriction will ensure that option for forwarding a media message like video, photos or audio is disabled if already forwarded five times from the same account.

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Have you found yourself put off by a friend's comment or shocked by words Mom wrote in a group message on WhatsApp?

In India, people mainly use the app to forward content over engaging in normal chats. So it does not stop mass forwards, but makes it more hard for the user. It also strips the chat of the forwarded label.

Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies said Wednesday it had uncovered a security flaw in popular messaging app Whatsapp, that could allow hackers to modify and send fake messages in the popular social messaging app.

Check Point's Oded Vanunu said the company had notified Whatsapp of the issues, but the latter had responded that it could not immediately fix the matter due to the way the app is constructed.

WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, "will help keep WhatsApp the way it was created to be: a private messaging app".

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