WhatsApp offers tips to spot fake news after India murders


WhatsApp offers tips to spot fake news after India murders

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been working on a new tool called Suspicious Link Detection which aims to tackle fake news on the messaging platform.

To this end, WhatsApp has announced a new research awards program for social science and misinformation.

This follows tests WhatsApp was running back in January when the platform trialed displaying notifications for when a message had been forwarded many times.

We will keep you updated, as receive more information about Whatsapp's anti-fake news and anti-spam initiatives. Double check the facts when you're not sure who wrote the original message.

Asking users to be thoughtful of what they share, WhatsApp said, "if you read something that makes you angry or afraid, ask whether it was shared to make you feel that way". The ad campaign suggested few tips for the users to distinguish between a real or fake message.

In an advertisement, WhatsApp said technology companies, the government and community groups need to work together to fight fake news.

The Assam Police is now mulling into legal provisions to enforce stricter rules to check the circulation of fake news and spam messages on the popular messaging app, WhatsApp. The ads will run in both English and Hindi and appear in national and regional newspapers around the country. "We will build on these efforts", outlines the news advertisement. It will automatically identify whether the link received is suspicious or not.

WhatsApp said it was "horrified" by the violence and promised swift action but Indian authorities have accused the social media giant of acting irresponsibly in its largest market.

With over 250 million userbase, a messaging platform can be vulnerable in spreading any news deliberately or non-deliberately.

"Fake news often goes viral" reads one.

More than 25 people have been killed in India in recent months after rumours were spread on smartphones about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators.