WhatsApp is the world's largest messaging platform with over 1.5 billion users worldwide. This also makes it the platform for easy spread of information, right or wrong. In a bid to curb widespread of misinformation during this sensitive time of coronavirus outbreak, WhatsApp is seen stepping up its game. Now, another feature is in the works that will turn its 1.5 billion users into fact-check police.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp is said to be testing an important feature to allow its users to instantly verify facts before forwarding messages. According to WABetaInfo, the 2.20.94 version of the app has a new 'Search Messages On The Web ' feature that gives users one-tap access to verify facts using the Google search engine. The report said that the feature will be enabled on frequently forwarded messages.
How does it work?
The feature is integrated within the chats. When a user receives a widely-circulated message, WhatsApp will show a search icon (a magnifying glass) right next to it. With a single tap on the newly-appeared icon, users will be able to search the contents of the message on Google to see if the news in circulation is fake or legit.
When the user hits the search icon, the app will redirect to a page on Google with relevant search results. Users will get the option to cancel the search while it is being loaded.
Even though WhatsApp is making it easier to verify facts with a single tap, users must responsibly take advantage of such features to avoid the spread of misinformation, which often leads to unnecessary panic.
When is it coming?
Given the sensitivity of the current issue in the wake of coronavirus, we can expect WhatsApp to roll out the said feature sooner than later. WhatsApp has been beefing up its efforts to better protect its users against misinformation about coronavirus. Since the feature is already in testing with Android beta versions, we can expect the Android version of the app to receive the feature first before it is rolled out to the iPhones.