Facebook is introducing a forwarding limit on Messenger as part of its efforts to slow the spread of misinformation.
After limiting message forwarding on WhatsApp to slow the spread of misinformation, Facebook is now introducing similar limits on Messenger as well. As part of its ongoing efforts “to provide people with a safer, more private messaging experience,” there is a new forwarding limit on the messaging platform that prevents messages from being forwarded to more than five people or groups at a time.
Facebook has found that “limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content,” so it’s following WhatsApp’s example, which has shown a lot of promise.
Facebook’s move comes at a time when COVID-19 misinformation is still spreading like wildfire, with major elections in the US, New Zealand, and other countries, coming up soon.
As Jay Sullivan, Director of Product Management for Messenger Privacy and Safety, writes in a recent newsroom post:
“We’ve taken steps to provide people with greater transparency and accurate information. Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Community Hub gives people access to up-to-date information and resources designed to help them stay safe. And our Voting Information Center and voter registration notifications ensure people know how to register to vote and encourage them to make their voices heard.”
The introduction of a forwarding limit on Messenger is meant “to help curb the efforts of those looking to cause chaos, sow uncertainty, or inadvertently undermine accurate information,” he explains.
Facebook has been working hard to keep Messenger safe and trustworthy, and has introduced several features earlier this year to help – i.e., safety notifications, two-factor authentication, and easier ways to block and report unwanted messages.
The new forwarding limit gives users one more layer of protection from the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content.