WhatsApp Limits Message Forwarding After India Mob Lynchings

WhatsApp is to limit message forwarding for users around the globe after the feature was repeatedly used to spread false child-abductor rumors in India, which led to dozens of mob beatings. The encrypted-messaging app, owned by Facebook, hasn’t revealed exactly what curbs will be placed on users outside of India but, inside the country—which is WhatsApp’s biggest market—forwarded messages will be limited to five chats at a time and the quick forward button placed next to media messages will be removed. “We believe that these changes—which we’ll continue to evaluate—will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app,” WhatsApp said in a blog post Thursday, announcing its worldwide test of limits on forwards. At least 17 people have allegedly been killed in India over child-kidnapping rumors since April. In all of these cases, local police have said, the rumors were spread via WhatsApp.