WhatsApp rolls out new feature that allows users to check authenticity of messages: Here is how
Called the 'Search the web', the new WhatsApp feature will let users check the authenticity of the forwarded message to avoid being ill-informed, the company announced in a blog post.
Over the last few years, a lot has been said about misinformation being spread on WhatsApp. In the past, the instant messaging platform had put a limit on the number of times a single forwarded message could be shared at one go. It had also introduced a feature that shows frequently forwarded label on top of messages that have been sent more than five times. The company had also announced a new feature to stem the flow of misinformation around coronavirus.
Now, it has come up with a new feature to help you debunk such viral or frequently forwarded messages to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform. Called the 'Search the web', the new WhatsApp feature will let users check the authenticity of the forwarded message to avoid being ill-informed, the company announced in a blog post.
How to use Search the web feature?
As per the information provided by WhatsApp, a magnifying glass icon will start appearing next to messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people. Tapping it searches for the message’s contents online, with the idea being that this should reveal any common conspiracy theories or misinformation the message contains.
"(We are) 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 content they have received," the company said in a statement.
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In a screenshot of the feature (shown above) released by WhatsApp, the company uses the example of a viral message which claims that “drinking fresh boiled garlic water will cure COVID-19." A web search brings up three fact-checking websites, which flag this claim as false.
The new WhatsApp feature is being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web, the company stated.
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