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WhatsApp rolls out Search the Web feature to help verify forwarded messages

WhatsApp on Monday announced the "Search The Web" feature for Android and iOS users that would let users verify the messages that have been forwarded to them.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | August 4, 2020 | Updated 10:50 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp announced the “Search The Web” feature for Android and iOS users.
  • The new feature would let users verify the messages that have been forwarded to them
  • The Facebook-owned messaging app is rolling out the feature today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US.

WhatsApp has officially rolled out the long-speculated feature that would put an end to fake news. The company on Monday announced the "Search The Web" feature for Android and iOS users that would let users verify the messages that have been forwarded to them. Earlier, it was reported that WhatsApp is indeed working on a feature that would let users check the authenticity of the message. The feature has been rolled out to curb the spread of fake news through WhatsApp.

Earlier, WhatsApp had introduced double arrows to mark the messages that have been forwarded so that users can figure out whether the message that has been sent to them is forwarded or original. "WhatsApp provides a special forwarded label to messages shared in chats that have been forwarded many times. These two arrows help people know when they've received a message that was not written by close contact. Earlier this year, we set limits on how many times they can be sent at once to maintain the private nature of WhatsApp," the company said in a blog,

WhatsApp had also imposed a restriction on the number of forwarded messages, as per the latest rule, users cannot forward messages to more than one person at a time. The messaging app had taken the step in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to stop non-credible information from being spread. Now, WhatsApp has launched a feature that would let users take an extra step to verify the messages without blindly forwarding them.

"Today, we're piloting a simple way to double-check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat. Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about the content they have received. This feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself," WhatsApp said in a blog post.

The Facebook-owned messaging app is rolling out the feature today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US, and in order to get the feature, the users will have to update to the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web. The company didn't reveal when the feature would be available for users in India but one can expect the rollout to happen soon now that the feature has been officially announced.

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Tags: WhatsApp
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