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WhatsApp tackles fake news following mob violence in India

WhatsApp is launching a number of features to combat fake news.

The instant messaging service's changes come following a spate of lynchings and mob violence in India caused by the spread of misinformation.

In a blog post shared on Friday (20.07.18), the company revealed plans to limit the amount of message forwarding.

It added: "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."

Earlier this month, five people were reportedly lynched in Dhule, India over a rumour circulated on the app which alleged they were child abducters.

A further 12 people have been assaulted as a result of similar messages being spread.

As of July 10, users now know when a message has been forwarded.

In this week's blog post, it was revealed that a host of features have been introduced as a test in India, including removing the quick forwarding button where media messages are concerned.

The company wrote: "A few years back we added a feature to WhatsApp that lets you forward a message to multiple chats at once.

Today, we're launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. In India - where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world - we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we'll remove the quick forward button next to media messages."

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