The end of annoying WhatsApp groups

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The Facebook-owned service has confirmed that the new settings will be rolled out worldwide within the next few weeks, following the company's move to limit the number of times a message can be forwarded to five and introduce a new fact-checking service in India, after the platform - which has some 200 million users in the country - came under criticism for facilitating the spread of misinformation.

Users will be given three options - Everyone, My Contacts and Nobody.

WhatsApp, which counts India as one of its largest markets with over 200 million users, had faced flak from the Indian government after a series of mob-lynching incidents, triggered by rumours circulating on the messaging platform, claimed lives a year ago. Of course, the option will remain to leave the setting unchanged and allow anyone to be able to add you to a group without having to give permission.

Some parties have been auto adding people to groups to spread fake news and malicious rumours, and scammers also auto add users to spam them with links to gambling sites.

You'll then have 72 hours to decide whether you'd like to join the group chat before the link is deactivated.

A group invite will be sent through private chat and users will have three days to accept it.

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The new invite system means that users can choose to be added to only groups for which an invite has been sent by their contact.

Selecting the "Nobody" option will mean that you'll have to approve the request for joining every group to which you're invited.

One of WhatsApp's most used features is letting you form or join groups which can have as many as 256 members.

"With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive".

WhatsApp says the feature will be found under Settings Account Privacy Groups and will begin rolling out today.

The move is significant as social media platforms are expected to play a major role in political campaigns to reach out to citizens in large numbers.

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