WhatsApp to add Search feature to discourage forwarded Viral Messages

WhatsApp to add Search feature to discourage forwarded Viral Messages

WhatsApp is piloting a brand new function that lets customers shortly search the contents of viral messages to check for the misinformation, the company announced. Beginning at present, a magnifying glass icon will begin showing subsequent to messages which were forwarded via a series of 5 or extra folks. Tapping it searches for the message’s contents on-line, with the concept being that this could reveal any widespread conspiracy theories or misinformation the message incorporates.

In a screenshot of the characteristic launched by WhatsApp, it makes use of the instance of a viral message which claims that “consuming recent boiled garlic water will remedy COVID-19.” An online search brings up three fact-checking web sites, which flag this declare as false. Again in March, CNN reported that medical misinformation was turning into an issue on the Fb-owned messaging service.

“Facebook makes an attempt to police misinformation on WhatsApp are difficult by the service’s end-to-end encryption, which forestall it from having the ability to see the contents of any messages despatched on the service. With the brand new search characteristic WhatsApp is giving customers the flexibility to fact-check data themselves, moderately than the corporate proactively scanning messages for widespread conspiracy theories. WhatsApp says that any message that a person chooses to go looking are despatched on to their browser “with out WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.”

That is simply the newest measure that WhatsApp has launched to try to cease the unfold of misinformation on its platform. Again in April it positioned new limits on the forwarding of viral messages. After the adjustments, viral messages can solely be forwarded on to 1 extra particular person, down from the previous limit of five. WhatsApp later stated the measure had cut the spread of viral messages by 70 percent, although it’s unimaginable to know what number of of those messages contained misinformation.

The brand new search characteristic is rolling out now on iOS, Android, and Internet in Brazil, Italy, Eire, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US.