WhatsApp Launches "Search The Web" Feature Combat Misinformation And Fake News

Pappi Hex

Fake news and misinformation has always been the downside of social media. The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has only seen a surge in the spread of fake news and misinformation on the Internet.

To help tackle such menace on its platform, Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called "Search the Web" that allow users to check the authenticity of a forwarded message to see if it has been debunked on the Internet.

"Today, we're piloting a simple way to double check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat. Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received," WhatsApp said on its blog.

As explained on WhatsApp blog, to use the Search the Web feature users will tap on the magnifying glass icon located next to the message that has been forwarded many times. Next the user will be redirected to your default browser where the messages will be uploaded.

Also Read: WhatsApp Scam: Scammers Are Now Posing As ‘WhatsApp Technical Team’ To Steal Verification Codes

This way,  the user will be able to check the authenticity of the message through the web results that will include articles that have debunked the message as fake. WhatsApp explained that they won't be able to see the message(s) uploaded via the Search the Web feature.

In its bid to combat fake news and misinformation, early this year WhatsApp set a limit on how many times messages can be forwarded. In March, WhatsApp received a bot from the World Health Organization (WHO) that  provided users latest information about coronavirus pandemic and its myths.

For now, the Search the Web feature is being rolled out in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK and the US for users that have the latest version of WhatsApp on Android, iPhone, And WhatsApp Web.

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