WhatsApp now marks forwarded messages to curb the spread of deadly misinformation
Jul 11 2018
In recent months there has been a rise in fake news spreading across WhatsApp in India that has resulted in mob lynchings of innocent people, reports Reuters.
WhatsApp's latest feature comes shortly after it was pulled up by the government over misuse of the platform.
Last week, replying to a notice by the Indian government to take immediate measures to prevent misuse of its platform, WhatsApp had said that it was testing a new label that highlights when a message has been forwarded.
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had last week asked for greater accountability from WhatsApp, saying that the government will not tolerate any misuse of the platform to spread fake messages created to "provoke" and "instigate" people.
Do you think this step taken by WhatsApp will help in solving the problems of lynching across the country?
According to a report by Gadgets Now, the new featureintroduced in the WhatsApp 2.18.204 beta version, alerts users of potentially fake news that is being forwarded in group chats through its upcoming "Suspicious Link" feature.
In the light of these events, it is reported that WhatsApp will bring a feature that will help users determine if a message has been forwarded or it has been typed by the sender.
"Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages". It suggests ways to distinguish forwarded messages from original ones and then "question the information that upsets you". WhatsApp told Poynter it plans to build on those efforts in the future.
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.
"We launched a new setting that enables administrators to decide who gets to send messages within individual groups".
WhatsApp has 200 million active monthly users in India alone, which is among its largest markets globally. The false messages that warned parents about child abductors were sometimes accompanied by gruesome videos of child abuse.