WhatsApp has launched a new feature that allows the users to check out the viral messages content. This move has been made due to the number of fake news and disinformation floating around, more so during the pandemic.
Impact of Fake news
Any type of misinformation or fake news has a major impact and can take on different faces. As known, information can shape the view of an individual. Information helps us to form an opinion or an idea of a person or even a situation. You cannot take ‘right’ decisions if you follow any misinformation.
Not many are aware that fake news can impact the health or even the finances of an individual. For example, fake news might convince you to buy a health product that is ineffective. You don’t only lose out on your health but also your money. This type of news also instills fear in many. It might get difficult to live a normal life if you believe fake news and stop moving out of the house.
Fact Check Features
This feature is added by WhatsApp for the users in UK, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Mexico and also the US. They can search the web and find out whether the message forwarded to them is authentic or fake.
This is a trial feature, and is termed as ‘Search the Web’. The users see a magnifying glass icon next to the messages that are forwarded in chats.
You need to tap on the icon, and open the Google search. This leads the search directly to the content that is referred to in the forwarded message. This also provides you with the information and sources of the specific message.
Users of this feature can upload the message via browser without this being visible to WhatsApp.
FaceBook owns and runs this message service, WhatsApp. A special label of forwards is provided by FaceBook to the messages that are shared in chats multiple times.
You know when you receive a message that this was not written by any close contact when you see the two arrows. A limit has been set on how many times a specific message can be sent at one time.
Will the Fact Check Feature Help?
According to different reports, of late, there has been a surge on a lot of misinformation and fake news. As mentioned, this has been more so during these times of the pandemic. This is spreading not only on messaging platforms but also on social media platforms. It is easy to find this fake news on social media but FaceBook has found ways to detect this and control it.
Controlling fake news on WhatsApp is definitely difficult and challenging due to the ‘end-to-end’ encryption. This security feature does not allow messages to be scrutinized. Thus, this feature of fact-checking is definitely a boon. You need to be aware that WhatsApp has almost 2 billion users globally. There has been a control on viral messages forwarded due to the limit set by WhatsApp.
Originally posted 2020-08-05 19:02:28.