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This article was published on September 3, 2020

Facebook Messenger wants to curb misinformation by limiting forwards to 5 contacts at a time

Facebook Messenger wants to curb misinformation by limiting forwards to 5 contacts at a time
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

In 2018, WhatsApp introduced a limit on forwarding messages to only five contacts at a time. Now, Facebook is bringing that limit to Messenger, starting today.

The company thinks it’s an “effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content.” And it’s not entirely wrong. Often misinformation is spread through people sending messages without really checking information. After the company rolled out limits on forwarding viral messages in WhatsApp, it observed a 70% drop in these kinds of messages. 

In a statement, the company said the new limit will help control misinformation:

We are introducing a forwarding limit on Messenger to help curb the efforts of those looking to cause chaos, sow uncertainty, or inadvertently undermine accurate information. We want Messenger to be a safe and trustworthy platform to connect with friends and family.

Messenger has more than 1.5 billion users around the world, and it’s probably the second most popular messaging app in the world after WhatsApp, which has 2 billion users on its platform.

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