WhatsApp has said it will limit how many times messages can be forwarded in India, to curb the spread of false information on its platform.
The announcement comes after a spate of mob lynchings were linked to messages that circulated on WhatsApp groups.
With more than 200 million users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market. WhatsApp said its users in India “forward more messages, photos, and videos, than any other country in the world”.
Groups on WhatsApp can have a maximum of 256 people. Many of the messages that are believed to have triggered violence were forwarded to multiple groups which had more than 100 members each.
In a blog published on its website, the company announced that it was “launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp”
For Indian users, however, the forwarding option will be limited even further. A WhatsApp spokesperson for India told the BBC that this means a single person would be able to forward one message only five times.
However, this does not stop other members from a group from forwarding the message to a further five chats of their own. WhatsApp added that they hoped this measure would curb the frequency of messages being forwarded.