Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

WhatsApp offers tips to spot fake news after India murders

WhatsApp offers tips to spot fake news after India murders

Hence, WhatsApp is now testing a new "Suspicious Link Detection" feature which will help users identify if a message they have received is fake or not. The statement states, "WhatsApp is commissioning a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring issues that are related to misinformation on WhatsApp". The largest messaging company said on Tuesday that all entities - technology companies, the government and community groups- need to work together to fight fake news by making people aware of the situation that is not true.

People have been urged to "check information that seems unbelievable", "look out for messages that look different", "question information that upsets you", "use other sources" to verify news and "check photos in messages carefully". According to WhatsApp, "many messages containing hoaxes or fake news have spelling mistakes".

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The spate of lynchings started in May a year ago in eastern India after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the killing of six men.

Reuters reports that the first batch of WhatsApp fake ads are running in "key Indian newspapers", and images posted to Twitter show an English-language full-page advert - so you do have to question who these first ads are really meant to influence. "Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages". The company will build on such efforts going forward, the spokesperson added. It then presents you with two options - Open Link or Go Back.

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In the latest occurrence, five people were lynched by a mob in Maharashtra on the suspicion of being child kidnappers. In a statement, Whatsapp said in part that it is "horrified by these awful acts of violence".

WhatsApp checks the authenticity of the website link provided in the message, while the user forwards the message, the report suggests.

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Users on WhatsApp should always do their own research into whether a piece of information being forwarded is genuine, before sending it along.

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