Facebook has copied WhatsApp feature that places limit on YOUR text messages

Of course, you can slowly make your way through your contact book in chunks of five people at a time, but this is infinitely more laborious than sending it to everyone you know with a single click – something that was easily achieved in previous versions of Facebook Messenger.

While forwarding is very useful when it comes to sharing memes about Tiger King or baby photos to a handful of loved ones – the feature has had the unintended consequence of allowing people to quickly spread false information and conspiracy theories to hundreds of people with a few quick taps inside the app. Whether intentionally malicious or not, the spread of false information to huge numbers of people can be incredibly damaging.

Facebook hopes that making the task of forwarding messages and images to people more arduous should limit the spread of misinformation around the coronavirus crisis as well as the forthcoming Presidential election in the United States this November. The Californian social media firm has good reason to believe this strategy will work supremely well.

After all, WhatsApp says that its forwarding limit cut the spread of viral messages by 70 percent since its implementation earlier this year.

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That’s an impressive result. Of course, since WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, which stops Facebook or anyone else who intercepts the messages as they travel between your smartphone and your recipient, there’s no way to know what these viral messages contained. While parent company Facebook seems to think there’s a good chance these highly-shared texts were misinformation – it’s possible they were hilarious memes or the results of a Buzzfeed quiz being shared with large numbers of friends and family.

Director of product management for Messenger privacy and safety, Jay Sullivan announced in a blog post: “As a part of our ongoing efforts to provide people with a safer, more private messaging experience, 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. We believe controlling the spread of misinformation is critical as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues and we head toward major elections in the US, New Zealand and other countries.

“We want Messenger to be a safe and trustworthy platform to connect with friends and family. Earlier this year we introduced features like safety notifications, two-factor authentication, and easier ways to block and report unwanted messages. This new feature provides yet another layer of protection by limiting the spread of viral misinformation or harmful content, and we believe it will help keep people safer online.”

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The latest changes comes as Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed plans to police the spread of misinformation on the platform. The company is still reeling following widespread criticism that it failed to stop conspiracy theories running rampant and stop political campaigns using privileged information to target advertisements at voters during the US election in 2016 and EU referendum in the same year in the UK.

Sophie Wessex latest: Queen's 'favourite' copied Kate Middleton with considered move

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 55, and her family were the first royals to join Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, at Balmoral this year. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh left Windsor Castle for Aberdeenshire last week and are expected to remain there until autumn.

Given the coronavirus pandemic, it was unclear whether the Queen and Philip would host visitors at their Scottish hideaway this year.

However, it seems they have gone ahead with the invites as Sophie, Prince Edward and their two children – Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn were snapped out walking with the Queen in the grounds of Balmoral at the weekend.

Whether or not the Queen and Philip will welcome more Royal Family members to visit them in the weeks to come remains to be seen.

However, the Queen will have been glad to catch with Sophie, Edward and her grandchildren after many weeks apart.

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The Queen and Philip are both vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age so any family reunions which do occur will be socially-distanced.

Sophie and her family are not the first royals to have opted for a UK staycation this year.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 38, and Prince William, 38, took their three-children for a holiday on the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast last month.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were spotted out cycling on the Isle of Tresco.

The ceremony was carried out in keeping with COVID-19 guidelines and there were no more than 30 guests.

Ahead of the pandemic Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were reported to have accepted an invitation to visit the Queen at Balmoral this summer.

However, the couple has been based in Los Angeles with their son Archie Harrison since March and are unlikely to return to the UK for the foreseeable future.

Archie will not have seen his great-grandparents – the Queen and Philip for months as he was last in the UK in November 2019.

Princess Anne may visit Balmoral later this summer as she usually takes a sailing trip with her husband Timothy Lawrence off the Scottish coast.

They could tie this sailing holiday in with a stay at Balmoral.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex copied Queen to win 'approval' and become royal favourite

When attending events, Sophie seems confident and is happy to make speeches.

While making speeches, the mother-of-two appears to mimic the Queen, body language expert Judi James explained.

She said: “Sophie is a very adept speaker with some interesting fluctuations in style and speech patterns.

“When she made a speech for the Diamond Jubilee Trust last year, with the Queen standing by her side a couple of paces from the lectern, she used several traits that were reminiscent of the Queen’s own speaking style.


“She mirrored her mother-in-law in a flattering way terms of vocal tone and delivery.”

Before becoming a royal, Sophie had a career in public relations which could have helped grow her confidence in public speaking.

However, it seems she has taken many tips from the Queen when delivering important speeches.

Copying the Queen in a flattering way could have helped their bond grow.

“Her voice had a slightly high lilt to it but it lacked variation,” Judi continued.

When her speech ended, the Countess rejoined her mother-in-law where she seemed to get a reaction.

The expert suggested the Queen look happy with the speech and gave her approval.

Judi added: “When she stepped off the podium she walked straight over to the Queen, appearing to glow at what looked like some words of approval from her mother-in-law.”

Kate Middleton news: The one foreign royal Duchess copied with signature strategy

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge has developed a keen passion for photography and has used her skills to capture many of the official portraits available of her family. Earlier this week, the Duchess shared a picture of Prince William and their three children she took during the lockdown to mark his 38th birthday and all recent pictures of George, Charlotte and Louis have also been shot by Kate. The inspiration for the unprecedented role the Duchess has played in producing the portrait is believed to have come from a close foreign royal.

The Telegraph associate editor Camilla Tominey suggested Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden set a key precedent for the Duchess of Cambridge.

Princess Victoria has long had a patchy relationship with the Swedish media after she struggled with their reports of her eating disorder when she was a teenager.

Following the birth of her eldest child, Princess Estelle, in 2012 Victoria took control of her daughter’s image and began to personally take and share pictures of the newborn.

Ms Tominey wrote: “The public reacted hugely positively, loving not only the fact that they could see such milestones as Estelle blowing out the candles on her first birthday cake but also that Victoria was behind the camera.”

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Kate entrusted professional photographers to take pictures of her eldest son, Prince George, to mark his first two birthdays and earlier outings.

But the Duchess of Cambridge has been solely relying on her personal photographic skills to snap cute shots of her children since Princess Charlotte’s first birthday.

Since 2015, Kate has been behind the camera to photograph her family’s major milestones. 

In April, she shared pictures of one-year-old Prince Louis celebrating his birthday by hand-painting rainbows in honour of the NHS.

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Royal historian Dr Lucy Worsley had previously suggested Kate has also been emulating Queen Alexandra with her passion, as the late queen also played a pivotal role in transforming photography into a major tool for the Royal Family.

In her latest BBC documentary Lucy Worsley’s Royal Photo Album, the historian said: “Like her Edwardian predecessor, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge is a keen photographer, using the latest technology.

“But there’s ever greater pressure on her to provide images of her family lives.

“In recent years, she’s released photographs she took herself of life behind the scenes and posted them directly on Instagram.”