Facebook Messenger Limits Message Forwarding to Cut Spread of Misinformation

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Apr 12, 2001
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Facebook has announced a new forward limit on its Messenger chat platform so that messages can now only be forwarded to five people or groups at a time.


The limiter was revealed in a Facebook Newsroom blog post explaining that the new rule has been introduced to provide users with "a safer, more private messaging experience," particularly amid the ongoing global health crisis and in the run up to major elections in the United States.
Limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content that has the potential to cause real world harm.
The change follows a similar limit on Facebook-owned WhatsApp that was introduced in July. In limiting the ability to forward messages to multiple chats at once, the encrypted messaging platform cited events in India as a specific example of how spreading fake messages could cause harm.

Earlier this year, a series of viral message-related crimes in India resulted in 12 dead in the span of just one month. One incident left one man dead and two others severely injured after false rumors went viral on WhatsApp that they had tried to abduct children.

WhatsApp said it was "horrified" by the violence in India, and that it had announced several changes to help address the issues.

Article Link: Facebook Messenger Limits Message Forwarding to Cut Spread of Misinformation
 

amartinez1660

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2014
431
370
There’s legit news on Facebook? Needle in a haystack...
Or... needle in a needle-stack!

Edit: On another note, damn, I’m shocked at “getting killed by false rumors” like this. Holy crap, this has happened before the internet, but via text messages it’s too much of an instant and wide reach, can put anybody on a death sentence like this.
 
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indiekiduk

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
404
299
Glasgow, Scotland
This is irrelevant now for the really bad stuff. Misinformation campaigns ask their victims to copy and paste the message content when Facebook already banned the misinformation account from sharing. Sadly because the trail ends with the victim they end up with the police at the door early the next morning while still in their PJs. And the victim has no way to prove they are innocent because the original post is gone by then.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,891
4,701
Straight out of black mirror
Black Mirror is a collection of crazy stories that could happen within the next ~15 years thanks to recent technological developments.

That a crazy story about social media actually happened shouldn't be surprising... they've had several episodes that only depended on the existence of social media, so realistically could have happened anytime in the past 10 years, and it's just luck that they haven't.
 

ian87w

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2020
1,470
1,557
Indonesia
Yeah, because people use FB messenger for news. 😄
In my country, hoaxes are spread out very easily via Whatsapp and Facebook. And yes, people do consider them as news as the ones sharing those are their friends. All you need is one person to start the chain. There were times when the government had to resort to blocking services like whatsapp/telegram for a few hours to curtail the spread.
 
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IIGS User

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2019
313
705
FB is slowly killing itself.

Which is probably good, because FB is killing humanity. And I'm not talking about the physical kind.

If anything resembling civil society exists in 100 years, volumes will be written about how social media almost caused it's demise.
 
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