Facebook is introducing a messaging frontier for Messenger to combat the spread of “viral misinformation”; on its platform. The new forwarding limit is identical to the limit introduced on WhatsApp in April and prevents users from sharing a message with more than five people or groups at a time.
Freight forwarding chains are popular on Facebook, especially among middle-aged and older users. And while forwarding chains and group chats can help bring people together or share news, they can also act as disinformation highways. Outdated news, conspiracy theories and false medical information are common problems for Facebook, and this information is often spread through viral forwarding campaigns on Messenger.
Facebook wants to slow down the spread of misinformation without imposing strict rules on its users. That’s why the new forwarding limit is so easy – it’s just an annoyance to discourage people from excessively forwarding messages. But just like Facebook’s “This article is 3 months old”, the forwarding limit should prevent average users from contributing to incorrect information campaigns.
For more information on bug information campaigns, Facebook suggests logging in to its Coronavirus Community Hub and 2020 Voting Information Center. These pages contain up-to-date information on the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election, along with information on how to detect incorrect information campaigns and links to help you vote.