Monday, 06 April, 2020


WhatsApp tests new feature to verify COVID-19 related forwarded texts

WhatsApp WhatsApp testing in-app search feature to fight misinformation around coronavirus
Melba Vasquez | 25 March, 2020, 17:40

As fake news continues to rise due to the outbreak of COVID-19, WhatsApp is doing everything possible to prevent people from being misled by baseless rumors/misinformation.

The Facebook-owned messaging app will launch the feature for "Frequently Forwarded Messages" where the search button will display an alert as a user taps an icon displayed next to the forwarded message.

As the feature is not available right now, WhatsApp, however, confirmed that it will be available soon. WhatsApp has updated its beta app to include a new search feature that will allow users to fact check forwarded messages. The user can then tap on the search icon and lookup on the Web. Facebook and Twitter have already introduced fact-checking services, and moderators are jumping on certain messages about coronavirus in case they spread dangerously inaccurate information. "This will upload the message to Google", it reads. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these factors also tend to play against WhatsApp's universal influence, since it can not directly and willfully interfere in information shared between two users, which quite frequently turns out to be misleading. Once the search results are loaded, it can help the user know if the forwarded message is fake or not. Last year, it was being speculated that WhatsApp is working on a feature that would verify whether an image is authentic or not but the feature was never rolled out.

In the days of the pandemic coronavirus, WhatsApp is testing a feature that would provide ground to their 2 billion users to verify the information they received. "This feature is now in testing, and we look forward to rolling it out in the near future", a WhatsApp spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Once you tap it, the app will show a prompt asking to search on the web while noting that agreeing would mean uploading the message on Google.

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