Facebook Messenger limits message forwarding to five chats

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Facebook has limited the number of chats users can forward messages to in Messenger to five. WhatsApp already limited that number to five last year to prevent the spread of disinformation.

The measure makes it possible to forward a message to up to five other users or groups, Facebook says. To forward a message to more groups or people, users individually have to press forward again and select other groups or contacts. That works the same as in WhatsApp, the Facebook subsidiary that already limited message forwarding last year.

The measure should counter the spread of disinformation on the platform. The company says the move is needed now, as there is a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak and upcoming elections in the United States and New Zealand, among others.

Facebook will no longer accept new political ads for those US elections the week before, the company says. However, the organizations of the candidates, incumbent President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden, can distribute existing advertisements to new target groups during that week.

Facebook will also display official results in a section of the app devoted to the elections. The results of the elections in early November may take days to weeks due to the suspicion that many people will vote by mail. Facebook is afraid that malicious parties will try to spread a lot of disinformation about the results.

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