Facebook Messenger could ban mass forwarding of messages to stop fake news. The new development is aimed to reduce the spread of viral misinformation and curb the circulation of fake news through the messaging platform.
Facebook Messenger could ban mass forwarding of messages to stop fake news
In 2018, Facebook brought a similar forwarding limit to WhatsApp in India, expanded to global markets in January last year. Meanwhile, in April, WhatsApp narrowed down the limit of frequently forwarded messages to one chat at a time. The Messenger app also recently added new privacy features, including the ability to lock the app on iOS devices.
With the addition of the forwarding limit to Messenger. You won’t be able to forward any particular message to more than five people or groups simultaneously. If you try to add any new users to your forwarding list. The app will show you a notification saying, “forwarding limit reached.”
Limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation. And harmful content that has the potential to cause real world harm,” said Jay Sullivan Director of Product Management, Messenger Privacy and Safety, in a blog post on Thursday.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the feature was being tested out as a way of stopping misinformation. With a particular focus on the false stories and advice that have spread around the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re working hard to limit the spread of misinfo on our platforms, especially with False and fake news and we’re exploring more options like testing stricter limits for how many chats you can fwd a message to at one time.
It comes after WhatsApp added a similar restriction to stop it being used to spread misinformation across groups. Because chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are private, but allow users to easily send on information, they have become particularly prevalent sources of hoaxes and rumours.