WhatsApp can be trying to address the spread of fake news on its platform. One solution: Starting Tuesday, the item will start slapping a tiny “forwarded” label on all forwarded messages.
“This kind of extra context will help make one-on-one in addition to group chats easier to follow. the item also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if the item originally came by 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 in addition to organ harvesters. Furious mobs have fallen for these rumors in addition to resorted to violence against people who were falsely accused of wrongdoing.
Last week, the Indian government demanded which WhatsApp take more responsibility in addition to 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 which upsets you” among various other tips to fight misinformation on the platform from the country. The company can be exploring using advertising in various other 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.”