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WhatsApp has been working hard to make its platform secure for the users and has been rolling out a number of features to curb the spread of fake news on its platform. The instant messaging platform has recently started labeling forwarded messages in its beta build v2.1.179 last month. The feature comes in handy and it allows a user to easily differentiate between a forwarded and original messages. The company then rolled out the feature for its stable build hoping that it will curb spam messages on its platform.
The fake messages shared on the WhatsApp's platform have created a menace and have given rise to public lynching in India which is quite concerning. Following which the company has been rebuked by the Indian government a number of times over a course of past few months. Now, IIT Bombay has come to the rescue of WhatsApp and is working on a project that is supposed to help WhatsApp to get rid of fake news on its platform.
Some reports from the web suggest that a group of academics at IIT Bombay are working towards a project which will help WhatsApp in dealing with the misinforming news. The group is said to be working on the project which will be released as an entrant in the 'WhatsApp Research Awards for Social Science and Misinformation' contest. The contest was announced by WhatsApp last month only.
The contest rules dictate that the researchers can present their plans as to what the company can do in order to resolve the issue related to fake news and rumors which ultimately leads to riots and public lynching in the country. As an incentive, WhatsApp will offer prizes of up to $50,000 (Rs 34,39,700 approx) to fund the proposals that the company will select.
Kameswari Chebrolu, a professor at IIT-Bombay's Department of Computer Science and Engineering quoted it to the EconomicTimes that "We are in talks and discussing the prospects of sending our proposal for the awards on curbing fake news."
A WhatsApp spokesperson has mentioned that the company has been in touch with a number of Indian institutions for the program. However, nothing formal has yet been announced by the company. It is being said that the company is giving priority to the proposals that can deal with the situation and can help t curb the spread of fake news on its platform.