Monday, 23 July, 2018

Facebook buys ads in Indian newspapers to warn about WhatsApp fakes

Whatsapp to introduce new tool to address fake news WhatsApp says it is horrified over India lynchings linked to messages ASEAN+ July 10, 2018 01
Ellis Copeland | 10 July, 2018, 18:25

To this end, WhatsApp has announced a new research awards program for social science and misinformation.

Group admins can make a decision and even limit other users from sending messages in a specific group.

WhatsApp recently received a warning in an official letter from the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology over the rise of fake news and public incitement. Double check the facts when you're not sure who wrote the original message.

"We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours", a WhatsApp spokesman told Reuters in a statement.

It also suggested users cross-check information against reputable news sources and not share the messages further if they doubt their authenticity.

The full-page ads, which ran in English, Hindi and other languages in daily papers, include tips for spotting fake news messages on WhatsApp.

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"Do not pay attention to the number of times you receive the message", it reads.

With fake news and lynchings more visible than ever, WhatsApp has become a convenient scapegoat for everything that's wrong with the country right now. "We will build on these efforts". Moving forward, WhatsApp will check automatically the genuineness of the site links that are being forwarded via its forthcoming "Suspicious Link" function.

WhatsApp said it was "horrified" by the violence and promised swift action but Indian authorities have accused the social media giant of acting irresponsibly in its largest market.

You can download the latest WhatsApp for Android beta here.

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.

In response to the killings and government criticism, the Facebook-owned platform will reportedly roll out a feature that helps users determine when a message is forwarded rather than written by the sender.

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