Fighting misinformation: Facebook to limit chat forwards on Messenger

Facebook will soon start limiting the number of chats that users can forward to their contacts on Messenger.

Software engineer Jane Manchung Wong, popular for her sneak peeks at hidden features being tested by various companies, uncovered the feature recently.

According to her, Messenger users will be limited to forward chats to a maximum of 5 other users.

Responding to the uncovering, Alexandru Voica, the communications manager for the EMEA region at Facebook, confirmed that the company was testing such a feature.

“This feature is still in development and not testing externally yet,” he wrote on Twitter.

Messenger, the social networking giant’s popular messaging platform is one of the avenues that Facebook is taking its efforts to combat misinformation to.

With the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic around the world in the last 3 months, misinformation is now more prevalent than ever. More so on social platforms like Messenger where it is hard to keep tabs on the spread as chats are not public like, say, posts on Facebook or tweets on Twitter.

According to an update from Facebook’s VP of Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky, the company is using the Messenger platform to spread awareness of the novel Coronavirus and other COVID-19 related information in countries like Argentina and Pakistan by working with authorities and other partners.

A year ago, Facebook started limiting forwarding of WhatsApp chats to 5 contacts per message and at a go after trialling the feature for months in India to combat the spread of misinformation during the country’s elections.

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