Facebook adds a forwarding limit in Messenger to curb misinformation

Facebook adds a forwarding limit in Messenger to curb misinformation

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Facebook is adding a forwarding limit in Messenger in an effort to curb the sharing of viral misinformation.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still affecting many parts of the world and the contentious U.S. presidential election just a few months away, now more than ever is the time to be vigilant about what you’re reading online. Social media giant Facebook has repeatedly come under fire this year for its use as a platform in misinformation campaigns, along with failing to take timely action on users that promote violence or conspiracies.

“We are introducing a forwarding limit on Messenger to help curb the efforts of those looking to cause chaos, sow uncertainty or inadvertently undermine accurate information,” Facebook said. The Messenger app will now only allow messages to be forwarded to five people or groups at a time.

Social media companies have struggled to stem the spread of misinformation once it becomes viral. Often, dangerous misinformation can spread beyond control before it’s addressed by platform moderators. The addition of a forwarding limit will cool the jets of misinformation being spread like a virus to many people, but it’s unclear how effective it will actually be to slow its spread. Along with enforcing forwarding limits on Messenger, Facebook recently added new privacy controls and said it would stop accepting new political ads a week before the U.S. election in an attempt to prevent the spread of last-minute misinformation.