WhatsApp, the widely used chat application across the globe has captured the world of social media. We completely rely on WhatsApp for work, communication, and news. Yes news, you heard it right. More than TV, we believe on WhatsApp news (forwards). People who are well versed with the application ignore it but some really take the content seriously.
The report published in The Hindu last month had exposed how the fake news triggered a lynch mob.
The video showed some people lifting children for illegal activities whereas it was actually a promotional video on child safety made by an advertising agency in Karachi. The violence took place 900 km away in Maharashtra’s Dhule, and led to the lynching of five people from a nomadic community on July 1. The forwarding of False content has lead to disrupting the peace in many countries including the US and Brazil where innocent people died or were injured as a result of lynching.
In a bid to save the community and people from believing the fake forwards, WhatsApp has launched a feature that will help determine the accuracy of the news. A new highlight will feature in the updated WhatsApp that will tell whether the message has been composed by the sender or forwarded. The new feature, which is now rolling out for both Android and iOS users around the globe, comes as another move by the Facebook-owned company that can help limit the circulation of spam and fake news on its platform that has over 1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide and more than 200 million active users in India.
People who will update their phone to the latest version will be able to see Forwarded above the body of the message if the message is a forward from different phones. According to Gadgets 360 a WhatsApp spokesperson has confirmed that the feature is indeed helpful in the cases where a message is being forward using WhatsApp’s native message forwarding functionality, it doesn’t restrict users from copying-pasting the text and forwarding it as a fresh message, ensuring no ‘Forwarded’ label is visible in that case.
The new feature came weeks after the governments of different countries urged the social media platform to take a stand on the fake forwards sent and circulated by people all over the world. The WhatsApp blog states that they deeply care for the safety of the people hence the new update. Furthermore, WhatsApp engaged with the local dailies to publish an advertisement in the newspapers to educate the local masses to differentiate between fake and real news.
A small step towards ensuring the safety of the users WhatsApp has proved that it does care for its customers. It is now in our hands to be wise and ignore the lies.