WhatsApp: New rules brought in to fight fake news and bullying

Last updated at 06:26
Apple iPhone 6s screen with social media applications icons Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, Youtube, Messenger, Apple Music, Safari, Maps, Whatsapp etc.Getty Images

You'll only be able to send-on your messages five times under new rules brought in by WhatsApp.

It's an attempt by the social media giant to stop online bullying and the spreading of fake news.

Previously you could 'forward' on a message 20 times on the Facebook owned messaging service.

However, 256 people can be in a WhatsApp group. This means that a message can still be sent to 1,280 people.

Why is it important?
Fake or Fact.Getty Images

The age limit for joining WhatsApp is 16, however a third of 12- to 15-year-olds who are active on social media use WhatsApp.

The government is really worried about people being influenced by fake news they've seen on social media.

They're also worried about young people being bullied through the forwarding of messages.

Facebook and WhatsApp have been under real pressure to crackdown on it.

Just last week, Facebook said it had removed 500 pages and accounts thought to be using and sharing fake news in Eastern Europe.

Earlier this month, it also launched a new fact-checking service to help it review stories, images and videos and rate them based on accuracy.

However, Whatsapp uses a thing called 'end-to-end-encryption'. This means messages between people are protected and even WhatsApp themselves can't read them.

It means spotting fake news and online bullying will be difficult for WhatsApp even with the limitation on forwarding messages.