In a bid to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation on social media, WhatsApp is now working on a feature that would let users verify forwarded messages. Misinformation and fake news circulating on social media have often fuelled public fears and caused mass hysteria. One person creates a message to suit his vested interest and later that message circulates as a fact. A lot of untoward incidents have also taken place in India over the fake messages that are circulated rampantly on WhatsApp.
The feature to verify forwarded messages on WhatsApp was long overdue and now we hear that the company is planning to roll-out the feature soon. As per WABetainfo, WhatsApp is already working to "introduce some options to launch the feature for Frequently Forwarded Messages". Last year, it was being speculated that WhatsApp is working on a feature that would verify whether an image is authentic or not but the feature was never rolled out.
So how will the feature work?
When you receive a text on WhatsApp that has most certainly been forwarded to you, you will see a search icon right next to the text. Once you tap on the icon, WhatsApp will ask if you want to search the message on Google to check whether the news is authentic or not. If you allow WhatsApp to search the message you will be redirected to a page on Google. You also have the option to cancel the search.
The feature is still under development and our information was based on the screenshot shared by WABetainfo. WhatsApp will first roll-out the feature for Android users and it will subsequently be rolled out for IOS users as well.
Earlier, WhatsApp had labeled the messages that are sent to too many persons as "Forwarded".
The Search Messages feature by WhatsApp will be highly effective at a time when the entire world is battling the coronavirus outbreak. A lot of misinformation about the disease is shared on a daily basis on the internet. Social media giants Twitter, Facebook too are working on removing false news related to coronavirus from their platforms.
Twitter recently issued a detailed list of the kind of tweets they would remove from their social media site and Facebook too has marked a lot of false articles on coronavirus as spam.
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