In order to double-cross check, confirm viral messages, the instant messaging app, WhatsApp adds the ability to fact-check forwarded messages with Google, which will then provide the results and sources of the searched information.
Messages usually go viral as forwarded messages on the Whatsapp platform, and most users tend to believe it. But today, the instant messenger has integrated a new Google search button that will allow users to verify that news.
It is no longer news that the COVID-19 pandemic has spiked misinformation all over the web, and has also increased the number of forwarded messages in social media and instant messaging platforms.
Today, the company announced via its blog post, that a magnifying glass icon will start appearing next to messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people. And when you tap it, you can easily search for the message’s contents online.
WhatsApp says that any message that a user chooses to search are sent directly to their browser “without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.”
Hopefully, this will reveal any common conspiracy theories or misinformation the message contains, and help you check for the news authenticity. This isn’t the first time, Whatsapp is trying to tackle the issue of fake news, there was the limit on forwarding messages.
Whatsapp confirmed that there are two arrows that’ll help people know when they’ve received a message that was not written by close contact and the double arrow label for messages shows that, that information has been forwarded multiple times.
Frankly, false information can spread very quickly. Even Twitter now label tweets that contain false information. Whatsapp shows a screenshot of a popular message “drinking fresh boiled garlic water will cure COVID-19.” With this feature, search result from the web shows brings up three fact-checking websites, which flag this claim as false.
Currently, the feature is being rolled out on WhatsApp for Android, iOS, and WhatsApp Web. It is been tested starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US.