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WhatsApp now flags ‘forwarded’ messages to combat fake news

WhatsApp is the most recent know-how platform to up its faux news-fighting sport, because the Fb-owned messaging app in the present day posted adverts in native Indian newspapers informing customers find out how to spot faux information on the service. The transfer got here after a series of violent lynchings were triggered by the unfold of false info.

Primary on the WhatsApp guidelines on combating false info is “Perceive when a message is forwarded.” And to assist customers spot when a message has been forwarded, quite than written immediately by a pal, the corporate is now introducing a brand new function to WhatsApp app customers globally. Transferring ahead, any message that has been forwarded by WhatsApp will likely be labeled as such.

“This additional context will assist make one-on-one and group chats simpler to comply with,” the corporate mentioned in a blog post. “It additionally helps you identify in case your pal or relative wrote the message they despatched or if it initially got here from another person.”

Above: WhatsApp: Forwarded Message

It’s not solely clear to what extent somebody who’s of a mindset to hold out brutal lynchings will likely be deterred by a “Forwarded” tag on a message, however the function is indicative of a broader drawback that has confronted messaging providers akin to WhatsApp for some time.

Certainly, studies emerged earlier this 12 months that WhatsApp was testing a feature to curb the spread of chain hoax messaging, however at the moment the function apparently solely flagged messages that had been “forwarded many instances.” It may very well be that WhatsApp has fast-tracked that function into the mainstream and broadened its scope to incorporate all forwarded messages.

Following a barrage of unfavourable headlines, the faux information battle has emerged as a key space of funding among the many main know-how corporations. Simply yesterday, Google-owned YouTube pledged $25 million to help and spotlight legit information sources, whereas final month Fb revealed it was extending its fact-checking program to more countries.

All these corporations are combating an uphill battle to cease the unfold of false info, and it’s nonetheless too early to say what affect — if any — their efforts are having on the faux information frenzy.

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