Here comes a new WhatsApp feature which is an attempt to help users identify the fake news. The new feature is nothing more than a minor change in notifying the users about the forwarded messages.
New WhatsApp Feature for Fake News Identification
The new WhatsApp feature is said to be the company’s move towards eradicating the spread of fake news through its channel. According to Mashable WhatsApp has now announced to show the label of forwarded with every forwarded message; this might not help user ascertain whether any news or information provided in the text is fake news or real, but it will indeed let them know that original sender has not written the story or the message’s text.
So, the new WhatsApp feature is not a significant move in directly probing the fake news. But, it will at least let users know that this is a forwarded message and they should think before sending it to others.
The social media says in a blog post, “WhatsApp cares deeply about your safety. We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded.”
Letting Receivers Know About the Nature of Text
The new WhatsApp feature about the forwarded message will also let people know about the nature of a text they receive from anyone. It will help them assess their group chats and one-to-one chats with friends and family members in a new way.
In the same blog post on its official website, the social media giant said, “This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else.”
What’s App’s Attempt to Combat Fake News
Social media giants like Facebook and its subsidiary What’s app are trying hard to fight the evil of fake news. Earlier, Facebook announced a grant of $50,000 for researchers who will study the WhatsApp fake news epidemic. The messenger app had faced harsh criticism from Indian government due to repeated incidents of mob lynching by fake news and provocations made via WhatsApp.
Facebook is also under tough scrutiny for its indirect involvement in the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal about its users’ data breach. Well, fake news problem is something different than the problem of data theft, but it is equally serious and needs to be tackled through a robust and effective mechanism. Otherwise, it can help spread anarchy in the society through promulgation of highly prejudiced material and hate speech.