In a bid to fight the spread of fake news and misinformation amidst this tough time, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature for its platform. Fake news spreads faster on WhatsApp because t is undoubtedly the most popular messaging app in the industry. Recently, the messaging platform introduce an information hub for the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). This is to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation about the virus.
Now, the spread of fake news within an already fear-stricken population can cause a great disaster right now. So, to verify any news or announcements, users will be able to Google the content of forwarded messages right from the messaging app.
Last year, WABetaInfo reported that WhatsApp was working on a feature that can help confirm if annimage is real or fake when forwarded to you directly from the app. But then, that feature did not make its way to the app. Now, the same source is reporting that WhatsApp has recently submitted an update via the Google Play Beta Program that will be bringing a similar image-search feature, but for forwarded text messages. The app version will be 2.20.94.
How It Works
The way the new feature works is pretty simple. When a user gets a forwarded message, a small magnifier icon will appear beside the message. When the user taps this icon, WhatsApp will ask for the user’s consent to upload the message on Google to search for it on the web. The user can just tap the “Search Web” button on the right to directly Google the text content.
My opinion suggests that this feature is going to be a great and effective tool in fighting misinformation and fake news. Again, it will be more effective if WhatsApp can start blocking any user that forward a message without verifying it first. This feature should be specially implemented in this country, where people mindlessly and carelessly forward anything and everything they receive on the platform.
According to WABetaInfo, the feature is expected to be first arrive on its Android version. For iOS users, WhatsApp will be rolling out the feature subsequently.