WhatsApp has started limiting message forwarding to only five contacts for users around the world, according to WABetaInfo, a website specializing in messenger. The purpose of the change, announced in July, to prevent the proliferation of false news (fake news) through the app. Initially, the platform allowed the same content to be sent to more than 200 people simultaneously.
In August, the application adopted the restriction, in a different way, in some countries: in Brazil, the limit changed to 20 contacts, while in India, it immediately dropped to five. In tests done by TechTudo, the new configuration is already in effect in the beta version of the software, available for Android phones.
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Routing on WhatsApp is now limited to five people Photo: Reproduo / TechTudo
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For some months, the messenger has been taking steps to prevent the proliferation of false messages. The decision was made after the record of at least 20 deaths in India caused by the proliferation of rumors about alleged traffickers who would kidnap children to sell them. The rumors were mostly disseminated by the application, which registers 200 million followers per liter.
Over here, the chat application has been used by cybercriminals to deliver phishing scams. In most cases, hackers create fake promotional pages attributed to real brands in order to obtain personal data from the victims or profit from clicks made in a method known as social engineering. The difficulty in identifying the origin of malicious messages is in the fact that the chat system uses end-to-end encryption, a technique that makes it impossible to intercept the content shared in the application.
New routing restriction is now available in WhatsApp Beta Photo: Reproduo / TechTudo
In a note published in July, WhatsApp stated that the changes sought to improve users' security and privacy on a daily basis. "We believe that these measures and that we will continue to evaluate can keep WhatsApp the way it should be: an app for private conversations," explained the software statement.
In addition to the restriction on the number of people who can send a message at the same time, WhatsApp also removed the fast forward button next to media and links in the web version. The service also started to inform users when they received a content sent to the reinforcing practice when a sender addresses something that was not generated by him.
At the time, the company told the TechTudo is the extra indication "make individual or group conversations easier to follow". They also encouraged users to "think carefully" before relaying messages on the platform. "Remember that you can block or report a contact as spam," says the text.
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