WhatsApp working on feature that would let users weed out fake information

Yolanda Curtis
March 25, 2020

The new WhatsApp fact checking feature for Messages will help users to check the web for more context upon receiving a message. As the world continues to battle Coronavirus, WhatsApp has become the platform for spread of false information.

Some users shared screenshots to show that they noticed a search icon in front of the regularly forwarded messages. WhatsApp has also confirmed the feature being in testing.

Facebook owned application has been testing this feature since previous year to make the platform more authentic and reliable.

Clicking on the search icon will simply search for the message on the web and return information related to it. "This will upload the message to Google". Now, another feature is in the works that will turn its 1.5 billion users into fact-check police. However, with the recent update, Facebook has modified the existing feature with deeper integration with chats and now allows users to search for content in the chat that includes photos, videos, gifs, documents, links and audio files. The entire message will be pasted in the Google Search bar, and relevant results can then be used to ascertain whether the message is fake or not. WaBetaInfo announced as well that the company has under development a new feature to support the users' experience and track the origin of the fake news.

WhatsApp already had a search feature which was only limited to contacts and chats.

This is what a WhatsApp spokesperson had to say to TechCrunch in a statement: "We are working on new features to help empower users to find out more information about the messages they receive that have been forwarded many times". WaBetaInfo details that once you tap on the option, you will see a dialogue box popping out and the message: "Would you like to search this on the web? This feature is now in testing, and we look forward to rolling it out in the near future".

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