WhatsApp Adds Fact-checking Feature: What Should You Know

whatsapp new feature

WhatsApp introduces some new sleek updates that allow users to check the forwarded messages. 

The new feature lets users search the contents of those viral messages to fact-check misinformation. The fact-checking process is easy, and users only have to use a magnifying glass icon. 

Unfortunately, the fact-checking feature won’t be available in some countries. Here is what you need to know.

A Fact-checking Feature to Dismiss Misinformation

The new feature that WhatsApp added comes with a magnifying glass icon. You can easily notice it, right next to messages that have been forwarded via a chain of five or more people, and groups, too. 

The fact-checking feature will search any messages’ content each time you tap on the icon. When copied to Google search or other search engines, it should show you conspiracy theories and root out misinformation. 

According to a WhatsApp blog post that includes a screenshot of the fact-checking feature, we can see the new functionality in its full glory. A viral message to cure the Covid-19 virus is displayed. When searched online, we can notice how fact-checking websites flag such information immediately as a false report, rooting out the misinformation from the message. 

Unfortunately, WhatsApp’s new fact-checking feature isn’t available for some countries, such as India. For now, the messaging platform is testing the fact-checking feature in the UK, US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy, and Ireland. The feature is available on Android, iOS, and the Web version. 

How Will the New WhatsApp Feature Help?

Many reports have noted the flood in misinformation, mainly because it spreads uncontrollably on social media and messaging platforms. The difference, however, is that it is easier to control misinformation on social media platforms such as Facebook. For instance, Facebook reminds users that the post they choose to share is outdated and could be a false claim.

On WhatsApp, things get a bit complicated due to the end-to-end encryption. This is a security feature that prevents messages from being viewed. So, the new fact-checking feature is undoubtedly a benefit, as it allows users to verify what they’re receiving/sending. 

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