WhatsApp pilots fact checking service
WhatsApp has introduced a new fact checking feature on viral messages as part of efforts to stem the growth of fake news on the messaging platform.
The feature, which is being piloted from today onwards, will allow users to perform a Google search on content that has been sent to five or more people to check the accuracy of information.
The move comes after repeated warnings over the role of social media and messaging companies in spreading fake news, particularly in relation to coronavirus.
WhatsApp said: “Today, we’re piloting a simple way to double-check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat.
“Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received.”
WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, said the feature will not interfere with encryption, and will instead allow users the ability to fact check messages themselves.
It said it will not be able to view the content of encrypted messages or related fact checking searches.
“This feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself,” the company said.