WhatsApp has enjoyed several new features this year, but the Facebook-owned team isn't stopping there. "Just because a message is shared many times, does not make it true", offer one of the tidbits of advice.
The full-page advertisements splashed across major dailies also nudged users to question information that is meant to instil anger or fear and to think twice before sharing such messages. If the link in the message is "suspicious", WhatsApp will add a red label to it.
This move comes in one month after two youths from Assam became victims of mob lynching following an alleged fake news that spread over WhatsApp regarding child lifters.
Besides, Whatsapp is also introducing a label for forwarded messages, so that the reader is more empowered with the knowledge regarding its authenticity. The label will apply to text, image, video and audio messages globally, a spokesperson confirmed to Poynter.
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Whatsapp Under Fire For Spam, Fake News!
WhatsApp on Tuesday said it is rolling out a new feature that will let its users identify the messages that are forwarded, as the popular messaging app looks to combat fake news and false information in India.
Facebook's encrypted messaging app is favored worldwide for its privacy, but that same feature makes it hard to police the spread of misinformation. The company will build on such efforts going forward, the spokesperson added. It advises people to not share something, if they have doubts about its content, potentially stopping an untruthful piece before it goes viral. The feature has been seen in 2.18.204 beta version of the app. Moving forward, WhatsApp will check automatically the genuineness of the site links that are being forwarded via its forthcoming "Suspicious Link" function. The company is testing a feature in India to highlight a forwarded message as well as it is deploying machine learning techniques to identify malicious content. "People have to be told again and again and again", says Pratik Sinha who runs a fact checking website called Alt News and hopes that the social media giant will run a sustained campaign.