WhatsApp new feature Web Search to help users to fact-check messages
WhatsApp new feature web search that allows users to search the contents of viral messages to fact-check misinformation instantly, the WhatsApp has announced.
Beginning today, a magnifying glass icon will begin seeming next to messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people.
Clicking it searches for the message’s contents online, with the idea being that this should show any prevalent conspiracy theories or misinformation the word carries.
In a screenshot of the feature posted by WhatsApp, it uses the example of a viral message which declares that “drinking freshly boiled garlic water will cure COVID-19.”
A new WhatsApp web search feature begins up to three fact-checking websites, which flag this claim as false. Back in March, CNN reported that medical misinformation was becoming a problem on the Facebook-owned messaging chat service.
Facebook’s tries to police misinformation on WhatsApp are complicated by the service’s end-to-end encryption, which prevents it from being ready to see the contents of any messages sent on the service.
With the new web search feature, WhatsApp is providing users the facility to fact-check information themselves, rather than the company proactively scanning messages content (Images, Text, Videos) for prevailing conspiracy theories.
WhatsApp states that any message that a user wants to search are sent directly to their browser “without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.”
This is the latest measure that WhatsApp has started to try and stop the spread of misinformation on its social platform.
Back in April month, it set new limits on the forwarding of viral messages. After the modifications, viral messages can only be forwarded on to one more person, down from the earlier limit of five.
WhatsApp next told the measure had cut the spread of viral messages by 70 percent, though it’s challenging to know how many of these messages included misinformation.
The new WhatsApp web search feature is rolling out now on iOS, Android, and Web in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the US.