WhatsApp Introduces Fact-Checking Feature, But India Will Have To Wait

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WhatsApp is updating its service that allows users to verify the forwarded messages. The new feature allows users to search the contents of viral messages to fact-check misinformation. Users can begin fact-checking forwarded messages on WhatsApp with the new magnifying glass icon. However, the fact-checking feature won't be coming to India, at least for now.

WhatsApp Introduced New Feature To Verify Forwards

 

New WhatsApp Feature

Going into the details, a magnifying glass icon appears next to messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people, including groups. Next, when the user taps on this icon, it searches for the message's contents online. Once copied to Google search or other online search engines, it should reveal any conspiracy theories and root out misinformation.

The WhatsApp blog post includes a screenshot of the feature, which uses a viral message to cure the COVID-19 virus by drinking freshly boiled garlic water. When searched online, fact-checking websites flag this as a false claim, rooting out the misinformation from the message.

New WhatsApp Feature Skips India

At the same time, it should be noted that the new WhatsApp feature isn't coming to India. For now, the Facebook-owned messaging platform is testing the fact-checking feature in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US. The feature is available on all platforms iOS, Android, and the Web version.

Will New WhatsApp Feature Help?

A lot of reports have noted the surge in misinformation, especially because it spreads rampantly on social media sites and messaging platforms. On the large, it's simpler to find misinformation on social media and Facebook has come up with a few new ways to control it. For one, Facebook reminds users that the post they're sharing is outdated, and could be misinformation.

However, on platforms like WhatsApp, things get complicated with the end-to-end encryption. The security feature prevents messages from being scrutinized. Hence, the new fact-checking feature is certainly a benefit, as it gives users the power to check what they're receiving/sending. What's more, WhatsApp says that any message that a user chooses to search are sent directly to their browser "without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself."

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