Whatsapp fact checking feature introduced to find out fake message
The Facebook-owned messaging app Whatsapp has stepped up for a new mission of fighting against fake, misleading and disinformative news. Whatsapp has now introduced a new fact-checking feature which allows its users to cross-examine the contents in viral messages. As there is no proper fact-checking or censoring system in most of the social media platforms it has become a room for spreading fake and misleading information. Whatsapp have been working on the feature for a long period and even released it in the beta version of Andriod app. With this new feature, the users will now be able to cross-examine the content simply by tapping a magnifying glass icon which is set next to the messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people.
Indian Whatsapp users have to wait for more to make use of this feature as the new feature is initially available in seven countries including UK, Brazil, Italy, USA, Ireland, Spain and Mexico allowing the users to conduct a Google search on information that has been forwarded to them. “Today we are piloting a simple way to double-check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat,” Whatsapp said. Whatsapp gave a screenshot to show how the feature works with an example of a message that claimed: “drinking freshly boiled garlic water will cure Covid-19.” And the WhatsApp fact check conducted a web search which proved that the claim is false by bringing up three fact-checking websites. The new feature will be available in iOS, Android and in the Whatsapp web also.
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Whatsapp have taken some measures to control such spread of forwarded messages earlier also. In early April, it limited the forwarding of messages to only one person at a time by bringing it down from the previous limit of five at a time. Later WhatsApp announced that this measure has helped to cut the spread of viral messages to 70 percentage.