Whatsapp to introduce new tool to address fake news

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This comes after the Indian Government ordered WhatsApp to take steps to curb the spread of misinformation on its platform. The widespread use of WhatsApp not only makes it the ideal platform for internet-based instant messaging on smartphones, but also an easy method to spread both information and misinformation.

Group chats have had new admin controls added which allow only admins to write in the group, to make it more like a messaging board.

In the light of these events, it is reported that WhatsApp will bring a feature that will help users determine if a message has been forwarded or it has been typed by the sender. Interestingly, despite this claim, the new feature can presumably be bypassed by anyone quite easily. Called "Suspicious Link Detection", the upcoming WhatsApp feature "analyses" the link in order to detect whether it is redirecting to a "fake or alternative website". The company is testing a feature in India to highlight a forwarded message as well as it is deploying machine learning techniques to identify malicious content. "And if the answer is yes, think twice before sharing it again", reads the tip.

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Notably, you need to have the latest WhatsApp version on your device to see the "Forwarded" label. WhatsApp will also warn the users with a message about the suspicious link as follows: "This link contains unusual characters".

Social media platform WhatsApp on Tuesday launched its print media advertising campaign to sensitize its users about the spread of fake news and how to counter it.

Most recently a mob surrounded and killed five men in Maharashtra state denounced as child kidnappers, a pernicious rumor blamed for similar murders in at least 11 Indian states.

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"Starting today, WhatsApp will indicate which messages you receive have been forwarded to you". The label will apply to text, image, video and audio messages globally, a spokesperson confirmed to Poynter.

It has also been pointed out that such platform can not evade accountability and responsibility specially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.

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