WhatsApp uses newspaper ads to fight fake news

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WhatsApp uses newspaper ads to fight fake news

WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook, has 200 million users in India alone and has chose to use a variety of mediums to spread awareness about fake news.

WhatsApp new suspicious link feature will automatically check the authenticity of the website links being shared.

The false mesages circulating in India are making people violent.

In order to curb that, the popular messaging app is now reportedly testing a new feature called "Suspicious Link Detection" through which it will inform users about fake or suspicious links sent to them.

The several measures have been taken out by WhatsApp so that it is not used a medium to mobilise mobs.

"Fake news often goes viral" reads one. When contacted, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: "This morning we are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours". Whenever you will receive a link, WhatsApp will scan the link to detect if it genuine or fake. The ads will run in both English and Hindi and appear in national and regional newspapers around the country.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp told that it was educating users to identify fake news as well as considering changes to the service with a public beta test in the works, that was working towards labeling any forwarded message. In the ad Whatsapp says that technology companies, the government, and community groups must come together to fight fake news.

According to a report by WABetainfo, the new feature will restrict the spam circulation by scanning the links that are being sent or received by the users. "We will build on these efforts", outlines the news advertisement. Group admins will also be able to restrict a user from sending a particular message.

Rumours on WhatsApp have triggered a spate of incidents involving mob fury, a recent one being lynching of five men on the suspicion of being child-lifters in Maharashtra's Rainpada village of Dhule district.

WhatsApp has 200 million active monthly users in India alone, which is among its largest markets globally.

WhatsApp has said it can block spam but cannot read the content of messages for privacy reasons, including potentially problematic content spreading in user chats.

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