Facebook Messenger follows WhatsApp’s lead on forwarding limits

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Facebook Messenger gets message forwarding limits
Suck it, spammers!
Photo: Facebook

Facebook is rolling out new message-forwarding limits in an effort to cut down on the spread of misinformation.

A similar version of the feature, which ensures messages can be forwarded to only five people or groups at a time, is already available inside WhatsApp — another Facebook service.

“We believe controlling the spread of misinformation is critical as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues and we head toward major elections in the US, New Zealand and other countries,” Facebook said. “We’ve taken steps to provide people with greater transparency and accurate information.” These include Facebook’s Coronavirus Community Hub and its Voting Information Center.

But that’s only half the battle. The other half is to stamp out the spread of misinformation by users.

Facebook Messenger will get forwarding limits

Starting this week, Messenger users will notice new limits that prevent them from forwarding content to as many people as they wish. Messages can be forwarded to only five people or groups at a time.

After you reach this limit, Messenger will prevent you from forward the same message to additional recipients. A popup notice inside the app will read, “Forwarding limit reached.”

Facebook hopes the change will stop people from encouraging unrest and delivering inaccurate information. More generally, the social network seeks to “curb the efforts of those looking to cause chaos.”

Stopping the spread of misinformation

Facebook Messenger added several other features this year to make the platform safer and more secure. Others include two-factor authentication and easier reporting.

Messenger has not yet added WhatsApp’s helpful new fact-checking feature, which makes it quick and easy to weed out fake news.