WhatsApp offers tips to spot fake news after Indian murders

Lester Mason
July 10, 2018

The statement states, "WhatsApp is commissioning a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring issues that are related to misinformation on WhatsApp".

According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has begun testing the new feature as part of beta version 2.18.204 for Android.

If a suspicious link is detected, it will be shown with a red label, and if you try and open the link, you'll be shown a pop-up window warning you again.

It is unclear that on what basis is WhatsApp identifying a link as a suspicious one.

Notably, WhatsApp will analyze all the links sent via messages locally which means the messages containing links will not be sent to the WhatsApp servers. Nevertheless, users are free to continue to the website anyway.

We do wonder what exactly is WhatsApp's definition of a suspicious website though. Moving forward, WhatsApp will check automatically the genuineness of the site links that are being forwarded via its forthcoming "Suspicious Link" function.

Apart from this feature, the other steps initiated by WhatsApp include permitting blocking of unknown contacts. The Facebook-owned firm coming under fire for its handling of hoax messages that have been cited as the reason for several people being killed by mobs in India.

Earlier this month, Facebook Inc, Whatsapp's parent firm, in a letter to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said that putting a break on the spread of false messages through its platform is a challenge that requires a partnership between the company, government and society.

Indian officials said the company could not "evade accountability and responsibility".

In an effort to fight the problem of fake news spreading through its instant messaging platform, WhatsApp has launched an ad campaign that outlines tips and advice on how its users can tell when a message they receive isn't genuine.

Right now, messages sent on WhatsApp don't have any kind of labels on them.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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