WhatsApp is tempted by new technical barriers, the dissemination of false information and rumors to curb: as of this Monday is it, therefore, for users around the world more and more difficult to spread the contributions quickly to many people. As the news Agency Reuters reported, should be content henceforth, only a maximum of five contacts, or chat groups at once. The Agency of the WhatsApp Manager Victoria Grand learned.

On one of our Test Smartphones, the rule seemed to be at the Monday lunch for the Android App is already in effect: When you attempt to send a message to more than five people, or Chats at the same time forward, appeared on the Display of the note “You can only share in 5 Chats”. A manual to Share the same message to different contacts was then, but more possible.

it is Already known what apps Five contacts rule from India: The service belongs to Facebook, a restricted forwarding function in the country already last summer, after via WhatsApp spread rumors and Fake News had deadly consequences. Similar problems existed in Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

In Germany was last in a line of 20 contacts at once is possible, the previous Limit was considerably higher. A rule adjustment had been announced already in December.

encryption as a Feature and hurdle

Is a WhatsApp-message-forwarding function sent to someone else does not see the person who wrote the message originally: He learns only marking is “Forwarded”, that was spread through the WhatsApp function. A message is copied manually and in a different Chat inserted, it is no longer a label.

WhatsApp has around 1.5 billion users. The fight against Fake News or also against Spam, chain letters, provides the service before a Problem with one of its Central functions: All the news, even in groups that are end-to-end encrypted. Only the Sender and receiver can read them. A control of the content by the moderators is so impossible.

In July, when the new regulation for India was announced, it was welcomed by WhatsApp: “Today we start a Test on the restriction of the forwarding function, which will apply to all users of WhatsApp. In India, where people are guided more news, photos and Videos more than in any other country in the world, we test a sub-limit of five Chats, and the messages can be forwarded, and remove the forward button in addition to media messages.”

More WhatsApp wrote at the time: “We believe that these Changes – which we evaluate on more – will help to keep WhatsApp the way it was originally planned as a private Messaging App.”


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.