WhatsApp Slaps “Forwarded” On Messages To Control Spread Of Misinformation

“in which extra context will help make one-on-one as well as group chats easier to follow,” the company said.

Last updated on July 10, 2018, at 2:25 p.m. ET

Posted on July 10, 2018, at 1:01 p.m. ET

WhatsApp can be trying to address the spread of fake news on its platform. One solution: Starting Tuesday, the idea will start slapping a tiny “forwarded” label on all forwarded messages.

“in which extra context will help make one-on-one as well as group chats easier to follow. the idea also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if the idea originally came coming from someone else,” said WhatsApp in a statement.

Forwarded messages on WhatsApp have led to major fake news crises in countries like India, WhatsApp’s largest market, which has more than 0 million users. More than a dozen people have been lynched in India since May, fueled by misinformation forwarded on WhatsApp about child-kidnapping rings as well as organ harvesters. Furious mobs have fallen for these rumors as well as resorted to violence against people who were falsely accused of wrongdoing.

Last week, the Indian government demanded in which WhatsApp take more responsibility as well as add more features to its platform to curb misinformation in India.

On Tuesday, WhatsApp bought full-page advertisements in over 30 Indian newspapers in seven Indian languages urging people to “question anything in which upsets you” among different tips to fight misinformation on the platform inside the country. The company can be exploring using advertising in different formats besides newsprint.

“Understand when a message can be forwarded,” the ad said. “Double check facts when you’re not sure who wrote the original message.”

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