Facebook is again in the news after a fake news that spread from it's most used messaging platform resulted in the death of 12 people by different mobs in India.
India has witnessed several lynching cases triggered by fake messages circulated on WhatsApp. If the link in the message is "suspicious", WhatsApp will add a red label to it. It is also advised to double check facts before forwarding to know the source of information. The ads begin with the headline "Together we can fight false information" and offer tips on how users can identify whether news they read via shared messages on WhatsApp is true or not. In recent times, there has been a spurt of mob violence in various parts of India, induced by fake messages passed on through WhatsApp. This latest move comes after IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked Facebook-owned company to take steps to control the fake news.
In its reply to the Union Ministry of Information and Technology, WhatsApp had said it was "horrified by these bad acts of violence", and called the situation a "challenge that requires government, civil society and technology companies to work together".
In its endeavour to deal with the problem of fake news and the spread of misinformation, instant messaging app WhatsApp has introduced a new feature, which will label all forwarded messages. The name itself tells it explicitly that the feature will help users to detect sent and received suspicious links to any web page which WhatsApp determines to be malicious. The feature is now in testing phase and might be rolled out soon to beta users before a wider release. When you click on the former, then the participants will not be able to send messages, photos, video etc to the group. The label sits on top of the forwarded message to highlight that it hasn't been created afresh for you.
They include a service it is testing only in India that will show users when a message has been forwarded rather than composed by the sender. As per the report, when you receive a message that contains a link, WhatsApp analyses the link in order to detect if it may redirect to a fake or alternative website.