WhatsApp rolled out a new feature to tackle ‘fake information’ propagating on its platform

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WhatsApp has recently announced a new feature ‘search the web’ that would allow the user to gather information on the internet for all of the sent links and images. Currently, WhatsApp is facing a dilemma regarding the propagation of fake news.

Social media has become a hub of fake news and in-depth fake videos since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic. People have no idea what to believe and what not to believe. The new feature by WhatsApp belongs to a broader drive by the company to curb false information. In the last WhatsApp update, double arrows were added to let users know that messages have not originated from close contact. The update also informed about the authenticity of the chain messages.

In a statement, the spokesperson of WhatsApp said: “We recently introduced a limit sharing ‘highly forward message’ to just one chat. Since outing into place this new limit, globally there has been a 70% reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages sent on WhatsApp.”

In 2018, WhatsApp introduced a feature similar to this one. The feature restricted the users from forwarding a message to more than five people or group at once. While rolling out the new restriction earlier, the messaging app claimed that messages delivered on its platform have dropped by 25% globally in two years.

The spokesman further said: “This change is helping keep WhatsApp a place for personal and private conversations. WhatsApp is committed to doing our part to tackle viral messages.”