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WhatsApp introduces 'search the web' feature: What is it?

WhatsApp has been criticized multiple times in multiple countries for allowing fake news to be circulated on its platform. The criticism reached its peak during the COVID-19 pandemic when fake news about the virus had become rampant

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | August 5, 2020 | Updated 17:17 IST
WhatsApp introduces 'search the web' feature: What is it?

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has taken another step in combating circulation of fake news on its platform. WhatsApp has introduced a 'Search the web' feature which will allow it's users to easily identify if the message they have received is fake news or not.  

WhatsApp has been criticized multiple times in multiple countries for allowing fake news to be circulated on its platform. The criticism reached its peak during the COVID-19 pandemic when fake news about the virus had become rampant on the platform. In response, WhatsApp has limited the forward message feature to five users. Meaning that a user could only forward a message to five contacts at a time.

The new feature would provide an effective and simple way for users to identify if any message is fake news. Instead of going to a search engine to verify the news, users with this feature would be able to verify news with a single click.

WhatsApp users will just need to double-check these forwarded messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat.

How does the feature work?

With this feature, a magnifying glass icon will appear next to any forwarded messages. By tapping on the magnifying glass icon users will be directed to Google with the forwarded message automatically entered into Google's search bar. The results of the search will show whether the message is fake or not. It is a one-click process. All users have to do is to tap on the magnifying glass icon and rest of the work WhatsApp and Google will do.

Another part of this feature is the addition of a special forwarded label that will appear above a message if it has been forwarded many times. This will let users know that the message has gone through multiple people before reaching them. It will be crucial in identifying fake news messages.

The 'Search the web' feature is currently being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK and US for those on the later versions of WhatsApp.

There are no details about when the feature will debut in India.Also Read: Coronavirus treatment: Lupin launches Favipiravir for Rs 49 per tablet; names drug Covihalt

Also Read: Coronavirus update: India's COVID-19 cases cross 19 lakh; death toll nears 40,000

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