WhatsApp Users Can Now Fact-Check Forwarded Messages for Misinformation

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WhatsApp is rolling out a new way for users to fact-check forwarded messages for misinformation, after several months testing the new feature.



From today, messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people will display a magnifying glass button alongside them in the chat thread.
Users who tap the button will be asked if they want to search the web to try and find news results or other sources of information about the content they have received.

WhatsApp says the feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.

The ability is being piloted starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. for everyone on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.

The feature is the latest in a series of attempts by WhatsApp to slow the spread of misinformation on the chat platform. In April, for example, it imposed new restrictions on the mass forwarding of messages, so that if a user receives a message that has been forwarded more than five times, they will only be able to send it on to a single chat at a time.

The move comes after several hoaxes went viral on the platform, including false stories about the ongoing global pandemic one of which linked the outbreak to the rollout of 5G networks.

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