Several messaging platforms allow you to forward a text to multiple groups at once, which can come in handy for many situations, but has also led to fake news spreading like wildfire. That's why Facebook-owned WhatsApp started limiting message forwarding to five groups earlier this year, and now the company is doing the same for its own Messenger service.
"As a part of our ongoing efforts to provide people with a safer, more private messaging experience," Facebook said in a blog post, "today we’re introducing a forwarding limit on Messenger, so messages can only be forwarded to five people or groups at a time. Limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content that has the potential to cause real world harm."
The move comes after Facebook has been repeatedly criticized for not cracking down on fake or misleading information on its platform. The company said earlier this year that it would never remove lying political ads, and much like Twitter, Facebook usually only adds a warning to posts with fake news (sometimes hours or days after the fact) rather than deleting them entirely. Rolling out forwarding limits to all its platforms is a step in the right direction, at least.