WhatsApp adds another new feature to help fight fake news


Facebook's WhatsApp messaging platform published advertisements today in key Indian newspapers to combat the spread of misinformation.

As per a post on WAbetainfo.com when the new feature is active on Android phones Whatsapp will analyse links received in messages to detect if the link redirects to a fake or alternative website. "Do not pay attention to the number of times you receive a message. It will also help you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it came from someone else", the company said in a note.

Beatings and deaths triggered by false incendiary messages in India, WhatsApp's biggest market with more than 200 million users, caused a public-relations nightmare, sparking calls from authorities for immediate action. This could help in averting any malware being downloaded on the device that you are using your WhatsApp messaging app on. Another tip, "Be thoughtful about what you share", puts emphasis on the fact that users themselves are the ones that give power to the spread of real and fake news alike.

WhatsApp will soon launch a new feature on its platform in India that will clearly identify whether a message has been forwarded or written by the user.

Facebook's encrypted messaging app is favored worldwide for its privacy, but that same feature makes it hard to police the spread of misinformation. Of course if the latter is more popular, then the addition of a label would quite possibly lead to easier identification of forwarded messages and reduction in the spread of unverified news - an activity which is unfortunately quite common these days.

The ad, which Reuters reports will be placed in regional newspapers in English and in Hindi, also announces that WhatsApp is rolling out a feature that allows you to see if a message was forwarded, and not originally created by the sender. "We will build on these efforts", it said. Secondly, forwarded messages will be demarcated clearly in order to help users understand where the message is coming from.

This week in social media news, Whatsapp warns users of suspicious links and Instagram continues its "Time Well Spent" mission statement with new features.