WhatsApp adds ability to cross-check forwarded messages

WhatsApp
has restricted  frequently forwarded label on top of messages that have been sent more than five times. A new feature to help you debunk such viral or frequently forwarded messages to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform. Called the 'Search the web', the new WhatsApp feature will let users check the authenticity of the forwarded message to avoid being ill-informed, the company announced in a blog post. 

As per the information provided by WhatsApp, a magnifying glass icon will start appearing next to messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people. Tapping it searches for the message’s contents online, with the idea being that this should reveal any common conspiracy theories or misinformation the message contains. 

"(We are) Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received," the company said in a statement. 

In a screenshot of the feature (shown above) released by WhatsApp, the company uses the example of a viral message which claims that “drinking fresh boiled garlic water will cure COVID-19." A web search brings up three fact-checking websites, which flag this claim as false. 

The new WhatsApp feature is being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web, the company stated.

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