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WhatsApp's limits on message forwarding reportedly reduce virality by 70%

The Facebook-owned messaging service tells TechCrunch that its efforts to cut down on misinformation are working.

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WhatsApp is seemingly reduced message virality by 70%.
Angela Lang/CNET

WhatsApp has seen a major reduction in viral messages since it imposed new limits on message forwarding earlier this month, according to TechCrunch. The spread of "highly forwarded" messages on the service has dropped by 70% globally, a spokesperson told the site.

The Facebook-owned service pushed back against misinformation linked to the coronavirus outbreak by introducing friction into the message forwarding process -- if you get a message that's been forwarded more than five times, you can only forward it to one chat at a time.

Prior to that tweak, you could send such messages to five chats at a time -- the previous limit was added last year after 2018 mob violence and lynchings in India were linked to false information that spread on the app.

WhatsApp didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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