Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

WhatsApp launches advertising campaign in India to fight spread of fake news

WhatsApp launches advertising campaign in India to fight spread of fake news

For the first time, a forwarded WhatsApp message will include an indicator that marks it as forwarded.

Indian Govt. has already told Whatsapp that they will need to find ways to stop the spread of fake news, which is claiming innocent lives.

"Fake news often goes viral" reads one.

It may look like the link to a well-known website but if there are spelling mistakes or unusual characters, it's usually a sign something's wrong.

WhatsApp has started rolling out a feature that will indicate to users which messages they receive were forwarded by as is the sender. Whatsapp came under scrutiny after it was found out that more than a dozen people got killed in a mob violence across five states of India due to the misinformation which was being spread through Whatsapp in the last two months. "We will build on these efforts", outlines the news advertisement.

The WhatsApp spokesperson did not reply to a specific question on the number of accounts that have been blocked so far this year in India or globally for circulating fake news. The app also restricted the dissemination of false messages through a 'Send Messages' permissions feature for groups that allow group admins to limit participants from sending messages. This time, the platform has received the ability to automatically hide shared media from appearing in your phone gallery. The ... Misinformation spread through the app has been linked to the mob killing of multiple men who were targeted by false rumors accusing them of kidnapping children.

Prior to its launch, WhatsApp had been beta testing the forwarded label in India - the Facebook-owned platform's largest market, with more than 200 million users.

From now on, WhatsApp will put a "forwarded" label on these messages. Last week, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had demanded greater accountability from WhatsApp, saying that the government will not tolerate any misuse of the platform to spread fake messages. The company has always been criticised for not doing enough to stem the deluge of fake news flowing through the country.

With the ad, Whatsapp puts the onus on community members to check for fake and incorrect information.

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