WhatsApp adds search feature to help users debunk viral messages

WhatsApp adds search feature to help users debunk viral messages

WhatsApp provides search characteristic to assist customers debunk viral messages

WhatsApp is piloting a brand new characteristic that lets customers rapidly search the contents of viral messages to fact-check misinformation, the corporate has introduced. Beginning at present, a magnifying glass icon will begin showing subsequent to messages which have been forwarded by way of a series of 5 or extra individuals. Tapping it searches for the message’s contents on-line, with the thought being that this could reveal any frequent conspiracy theories or misinformation the message accommodates.

In a screenshot of the characteristic launched by WhatsApp, it makes use of the instance of a viral message which claims that “ingesting contemporary boiled garlic water will remedy COVID-19.” An online search brings up three fact-checking web sites, which flag this declare as false. Again in March, CNN reported that medical misinformation was turning into an issue on the Fb-owned messaging service.

Fb’s makes an attempt to police misinformation on WhatsApp are sophisticated by the service’s end-to-end encryption, which stop it from having the ability to see the contents of any messages despatched on the service. With the brand new search characteristic WhatsApp is giving customers the flexibility to fact-check data themselves, relatively than the corporate proactively scanning messages for frequent conspiracy theories. WhatsApp says that any message {that a} consumer chooses to look are despatched on to their browser “with out WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.”

That is simply the newest measure that WhatsApp has launched to try to cease the unfold of misinformation on its platform. Again in April it positioned new limits on the forwarding of viral messages. After the modifications, viral messages can solely be forwarded on to 1 extra particular person, down from the earlier restrict of 5. WhatsApp later mentioned the measure had lower the unfold of viral messages by 70 %, although it’s unimaginable to know what number of of those messages contained misinformation.

The brand new search characteristic is rolling out now on iOS, Android, and Internet in Brazil, Italy, Eire, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US.

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