WhatsApp

WhatsApp Labels New Feature for Fake Messages Crackdown

To see the new forwarded label, all you need is the latest supported version of WhatsApp on your phone.
WhatsApp Labels New Feature for Fake Messages Crackdown
Image credit: WhatsApp
Entrepreneur Staff
Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Fake news has been a buzzing topic for a while now. To fight this menace, many big social media giants like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have outlined a few important steps.  A few days ago YouTube announced few features to improve the news experience on its platform. Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer, YouTube, shared in a blog post that the company is establishing a working group with news organizations and experts from around the world to help us develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube, and tackle emerging challenges. News organizations including Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today are early members of the working group. Now, let's hope that YouTube’s efforts will pay off big time.

Filtering Out Fake Messages:

However, there is one more player jumped on the bandwagon to curb the spread of fake messages in India, and that is none other than WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned messaging app has recently launched a new feature which will indicate which messages you receive have been forwarded or not have been originally composed. This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else. To see the new forwarded label, all you need is the latest supported version of WhatsApp on your phone.

Right Step At Right Time:

WhatsApp took this action to encourage people to report fraudulent or violent messages after a wave of murders carried out by mobs of people who were falsely accused (via WhatsApp messages) of intending to abduct children.

In a blog post, WhatsApp also shared, “We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded. As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help.”

With more than 200 million monthly active users,  India is definitely WhatsApp’s biggest market.

Last week, the Ministry of Electronics and IT had also asked the messaging platform to take strict action and ensure that the platform is not used for spreading provocative content. The company was also advised to necessary remedial measures to prevent the proliferation of fake and at times a motivated/sensational message.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp printed a full-page advertisement in Indian newspapers that used a tag line “Together we can fight false information.”

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Government Asks WhatsApp to Act Tough on Fake Messages