WhatsApp is currently leading the instant messaging space but that definitely doesn’t make the platform immune to fake news. The issue of misinformation has become a constant concern for the company officials. With the latest WhatsApp Update 2020, we are expecting a new ‘Search on the Web’ feature in select markets.
The new WhatsApp feature will assist users in examining and verifying claims made in any of the viral WhatsApp messages they may receive. Users can spot a “magnifying glass” icon next to a frequently forwarded message (one that has been forwarded 5 times or more). They can then click on the icon to search web for the contents of the message.
‘Search The Web’ to fight misinformation
The new ‘search the web’ feature enable users to upload the text message through their browsers. However, the feature doesn’t support videos or images yet. Moreover, the company has also clarified that WhatsApp itself doesn’t see the content of these messages.
The reverse search feature has currently been rolled out in limited countries including US, UK, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Ireland. It is currently in pilot phase and has been released on to its various versions including the web version as well as its Android and iOS applications.
However, we aren’t yet certain on when the messaging platform release for its wider user-base. Nonetheless, the new feature to combat misinformation is coming at an apt time as even larger numbers of people are relying on instant messaging apps to stay connected to their families and friends.
However, it isn’t the first time that WhatsApp is introducing a new feature to fight misinformation. It has been introducing various features to combat fake news on its platform especially post the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following the WhatsApp feature that limited forwarding to just one contact after the message has already been forwarded five times led to a significant drop of around 70 percent in the volume of “highly forwarded” messages around the world.
WhatsApp is also collaborating with several fact-checking agencies to help people in verifying assertions made in the viral messages. Notably, World Health Organisation had also joined WhatsApp to fight COVID-19 related misinformation.
Latest WhatsApp Update 2020: New Features on Smartphones
- WhatsApp Web receives shortcut for Facebook Messenger Rooms
- WhatsApp to allow users to ‘Always Mute’ option for group chats
- Dark Mode finally arrives on WhatsApp Web
- WhatsApp finally allows users One Login on Multiple-Devices
- Self-destructing Messages feature may soon get operational
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