To counter the spread of fake news, WhatsApp has taken out advertisements in leading newspapers today to fight false information. The largest messaging company said on Tuesday that all entities – technology companies, the government and community groups- need to work together to fight fake news by making people aware of the situation that is not true.
WhatsApp’s advertisement in Indian newspapers has come following the government’s warning to the world’s most popular messenger app to “step up efforts” to help curb fake news following a series of mob lynching incidents in the country due to rumours. In a bid to control the menace of mob lynching through hate content, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad sent a warning to the company to curb the spread of fake news
The company had said, “We have been testing a new label in India that highlights when a message has been forwarded versus composed by the sender. This could serve as an important signal for recipients to think twice before forwarding messages because it lets a user know if content they received was written by the person they know or a potential rumour from someone else.”
The several measures have been taken out by WhatsApp so that it is not used a medium to mobilise mobs. In one of the features set to roll out this week WhatsApp users will be able to distinguish messages that have been forwarded. Messages will be highlighted to make a difference that the message was not typed out but just forwarded. It is also advised to double check facts before forwarding to know the source of information. For instance, if the information seems unbelievable, the users should look at other news websites or apps to see if the story is being reported elsewhere.