WhatsApp has been facing a lot of heat lately due to the spread of fake news and rumors on its messaging platform. The Indian government had also asked the platform to take preventive measures which could stop the public lynching in India due to the spread of misleading information and rumors. However, it seems like the company is experiencing a tough time fending off these fake news and rumors from its platform. The company, on the other hand, has already said that it is working on same and has begun adopting measures to stop the fake news.
In recent events, the company was said to be ready to roll-out a new feature that will curb the spread of misleading information. Every time someone shares a link on WhatsApp, users will get a preview of the contents of the page. This new feature is called suspicious link detection. This useful feature is said to alert users if they are sharing a potentially harmful link, you can read the complete story by clicking on this link.
Along with the spam and suspicious link detection the company has also introduced a contest which is being called 'WhatsApp Research Awards for Social Science and Misinformation. 'The WhatsApp researchers will be allowed suggest proposals regarding what security measures the company can adapt to resolve the issues related to the spread of fake news and rumors which are leading to public lynching in India. The company is offering a whopping amount of $50,000 Rs. 34,38,250 approx as an incentive to fund for the chosen proposals.
WhatsApp has introduced the first phase of the contest and the company has now started accepting the research proposals from the areas of expertise which includes the information processing of problematic content, election-related information, network effects along with viral content, digital literacy and other misinformation and also detecting the problematic behavior when following the encryption guidelines.
The company has further said that every award-winning researcher will hold IP (intellectual property) to their data and analysis. WhatsApp will only be providing assistance while the awarded researcher will have to develop conceptual tools, collecting and analyzing data along with investigating relevant issues. It's a high time that the company needs to take preventive measures to curb the spread of misleading and fake news which would eventually help in preventing the public lynching in India.