WhatsApp users can now verify fake News

WhatsApp
Harpal News

Whatsapp fake news search 

WhatsApp today unveiled its ‘Checkpoint Tipline,’ where people can check the authenticity of the information received as the messaging giant looks to crack down on fake news ahead of the general election in the country. 

The search message on the web used on the latest versions of WhatsApp Web/ Desktop. The website also stated that the feature enabled on the latest WhatsApp for Android and iOS updates. 

HIGHLIGHTS 

  • The search message on the web used on the latest versions of WhatsApp Web/ Desktop. 
  • The website also stated that the feature enabled on the latest WhatsApp for Android and iOS updates. 
  • The messages that are frequently forwarded can only get verified. 

Feature:- 

WhatsApp was working on a feature that would allow users to verify forwarded messages on the web as well. But now we hear that WhatsApp has rolled out the feature for some Android and iOS users. However, there is a catch; not all forwarded messages verified on the app; only the ones that are frequently delivered checked. 

WAbetainfo also shared a screenshot in which the search icon appeared next to a messaged that was marked forwarded. A lot of Twitter users also admitted spotting the search icon next to the sent messages, but there many who couldn’t see the image. To which, WABetainfo clarified that it would only work for the words that are frequently forwarded. 

Launched by PROTO, an India-based media skilling startup, this tipline will help create a database of rumors to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint – a research project commissioned and technically assisted by WhatsApp. 

People in India can submit misinformation or rumors they receive to the Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp (+91-9643-000-888). 

Once a WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, PROTO’s verification center will seek to respond and inform the user if the claim made in the news shared is verified or not. 

The statement:-

The response will indicate if the information classified as true, false, misleading, disputed, or out of scope and include any other related information that is available. 

Getty Images. 

This center is equipped to review content in the form of pictures, video links, or text and will cover English and four regional languages – Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, and Malayalam. 

PROTO will also look at working with organizations at the grassroots level to submit misinformation circulating across different regions in India during the election period. 

Facebook, which counts India as one of its largest markets with over 200 million users, had faced flak from the Indian government after a series of mob-lynching incidents, triggered by rumors circulating on WhatsApp, claimed lives last year. 

Under pressure to stop rumors and fake news, WhatsApp had last year restricted forwarding messages to five chats at once. It has also been putting out advertisements in newspapers and running television and radio campaigns offering tips to users on how to spot misinformation. 

With ensuing general elections, the Indian government had warned social media platforms of intense action if any attempt made to influence the country’s electoral process through undesirable means. 

“The goal of this project is to study the misinformation phenomenon at scale — natively in WhatsApp. As more data flows in, we will be able to identify the most susceptible or affected issues, locations, languages, regions, and more,” PROTO founders Ritvvij Parikh and Nasr ul Hadi said. 

The verification reports PROTO sends back will encourage grassroots-level “listening posts” to send more signals for analysis. 

Following the project, PROTO also plans to submit learnings to the International Center for Journalists to help other organizations learn from the design and operations of this project. 

The research from this initiative will help create a global benchmark for those wishing to tackle misinformation in their markets. 

This feature by WhatsApp is long overdue since the messaging app \ used to spread misinformation or fake news. At a time when the entire world is battling Coronavirus, any fake news or false claims can cause mass hysteria. 

Earlier, WhatsApp announced that it had pledged $1million to combat fake news or misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The amount will go to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), as per HT. 

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