WhatsApp Imposes New Limit on Bulk Message Forwarding to Slow Spread of Misinformation

by

whatsappiconcleanedWhatsApp today implemented new restrictions on the mass forwarding of messages in an effort to slow the spread of misinformation on the chat platform.

The new limits on bulk forwarding mean if a user receives a message that has been forwarded more than five times, they will only be able to send it on to a single chat at a time. The previous limit was five chats at once, which WhatsApp introduced last year.

Obviously the restriction doesn't completely prevent mass forwarding, but anyone wanting to do so now has to put a lot more repetitive manual effort into it.

The move comes after several hoaxes went viral on the platform, including false stories about the current global pandemic one of which linked the outbreak to the rollout of 5G networks. At least 20 mobile phone masts across the U.K. are believed to have been set on fire or vandalized as a result of the baseless theory.

"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," said WhatsApp in a blog post. "We believe it's important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation."

WhatsApp is also testing a feature that displays a small magnifying glass icon next to bulk forwarded messages. If users tap the icon they are sent to a web search for the message, with the intention that they'll be able to find articles that provide more information about the message or debunk it.

Top Rated Comments

sickoagb Avatar
8 months ago


I thought we were supposed to live in a “free” society

Yes you live in a free society where you can choose which service you want. You are not being forced to use Whatsapp, and if their new rules are not for you you can freely move to another platform.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TGM85 Avatar
8 months ago


Problem is that there’s not many real alternatives and I feel as if the world is turning into a communist poop hole. Where freedoms of speech doesn’t exist

Freedom of speech means the government can't stop you from saying what you want, short of inciting actual violence.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean that I am legally obliged to sell you a megaphone.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TGM85 Avatar
8 months ago


This has got the be the stupidest thing I’ve heard all year. So Instead of it taking 5 minutes to spam it will take 10 minutes. Bravo WhatsApp.

Don't underestimate the sheer laziness of the average Joe or Jane - and especially the kind of person who believes that 5G is the cause of covid. Small barriers can have a big effect.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
8 months ago


What if people want to spread info that is true?

Then I'd imagine that information would already be being spread by more credible sources. Too many people these days seem to turn to social media as their primary source of information rather than official or credible channels. Whilst the latter certainly aren't perfect, they're better than people's misinformed opinion being spread as fact or "My uncle's a doctor and told me that..."


Freedom of speech means the government can't stop you from saying what you want, short of inciting actual violence.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean that I am legally obliged to sell you a megaphone.

Yeah, I always find it amusing that the people who make the most noise about specific rights are the ones who least understand what those rights actually mean.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miniyou64 Avatar
8 months ago
Its so nice when corporations get to decide what and how people communicate
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Seanm87 Avatar
8 months ago


Does anyone still use WhatsApp? According to storage in settings haven't opened the app in 6 mo. All my friends have migrated away from it. Keeping it install just in case there's a few stragglers.

It has 1.5 billion active users. So yes people still use it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Although we're still a few days away from the official launch of Black Friday, we've known for a few weeks that many retailers would be kicking off discounts ahead of November 27. Because of this trend, today we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the 10.2-inch iPad and 2020 iPad Pro. More sales are likely to appear as the week progresses, and when they do we'll update ...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...