WhatsApp Moves to Rein in Your Crazy Uncle

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I know this is serious, but I can’t help laughing about it:

WhatsApp users will be blocked from forwarding messages to more than five individuals or groups under new rules the messaging service is rolling out worldwide to fight the spread of misinformation….The five-recipient limit was initially put in place in India last July. A larger limit, of 20 recipients, was put in place globally. WhatsApp said at the time the limits would “help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app”.

….The limit was introduced last summer along with another feature to clearly label forwarded messages and the removal of a quick-forward button next to images, video and audio clips. The company says the measures reduced forwarding by 25% globally and more than that in India, which had one of the highest forwarding rates in the world.

So Uncle Doofus and Aunt Gullible will no longer be able to spam their entire extended family with an endless procession of idiotic tweets and Facebook posts. I suppose the smart ones will just create a few groups and keep spamming away, but how many smart ones do this in the first place?

Of course, this requires discipline from all of us. When your spamming elders call to ask you how to set up a group on WhatsApp, we all have to agree that the answer is that it’s not possible. Don’t screw this up! We must keep our grandparents and their generation in the dark about this. Remember: loose lips sink ships.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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