Paul Nyathi|In the coming days, you will not be allowed to forward a WhatsApp message more than five times to another WhatsApp user or group.
The most popular messaging platform, made this announcement after it received a couple of complaints about forwarded messages being used to spread false information and inciting the members of the public.
The social platform has made it easier for users to send messages through the forwarding feature, but some users have abused this feature, and have instead used it to send messages without verifying nor changing incisive words.
According to a report by The Guardian, a forwarded message does not reveal the identity of the original source, and this has led to unaccountability, and spiteful messages have spread virally to influence people negatively.
India, which is deemed as the largest market for WhatsApp (having 200 million users), experienced mob killings which according to reports, were caused due to the widespread of unverified and forwarded WhatsApp messages.
With a total of 2.5 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp joins other renowned social media platforms in ensuring that the content that reaches the public is regulated.
Twitter, on the other hand, introduced a regulation where offensive messages are hidden and the account of the source is suspended from the platform for a certain period of time.
The twitter users (audiences in this case) are then provided with an option that warns against the hidden content, with the decision of opening the content being left to the user.
Whereas the WhatsApp forwarding policy targets every user, regardless of their societal status, the twitter policy mostly targets individuals of higher influence on society.
Government officials, those candidates seeking public offices, users who have their accounts verified and those with 100,000 followers and more are the ones most targeted.
The notification reads, “The twitter rules about abusive behavior apply to this tweet. However, twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest in the tweet to remain available…” but then it gives an option.