WhatsApp limits message forwarding to one at a time to fight COVID-19 misinformation

By Michael Grothaus

WhatsApp has placed a new limit on forwarded messages in an effort to help stem the spread of misinformation on its platform during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new restrictions, if you receive a WhatsApp message that has already been forwarded five times, you yourself will not be able to forward that message to more than one chat at a time. Previously you were able to forward that message to five chats at a time.

To tell if a message has been forwarded to you, look for the double-arrows below it. Those arrows mean the message did not originate from the person you are chatting with. In a blog post, WhatsApp said, “We’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”

This isn’t the first time WhatsApp has place restrictions on how many people a message could be forwarded to at once. Back in 2018 in India, WhatsApp reduced the number of people a message could be forwarded to at once from 20 to just 5 after misinformation spread on its platform that helped incite violence in the country.


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