Social media networks, fundraising campaigns and major tech companies have been taking huge steps in the global fight against fake news.
WhatsApp, GoFundMe, Google Fight Against Fake News
WhatsApp has been developing a hefty arsenal of tools designed to reduce the spread of disinformation. On Friday, it was discovered by WABetaInfo that the platform is testing a feature that would automatically label viral messages that have been forwarded more than four times with “frequently forwarded.” By going into Message Info, users will be able to see exactly how many times a message has been forwarded, a count that can be seen even when something has been resent only once.
WABetaInfo also reported early last week that WhatsApp has begun testing an in-app browser and reverse-image search that will help users find where images originally came from.
On Friday, GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told The Daily Beast that “Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and will be removed from the platform.” Previously, the company has banned medical campaigns that raise funds for improper treatments claimed to be legitimate by disinformation activists.
While Google has been implementing a collection of tools designed to combat disinformation, last month, the company formally put together a 29-page document outlining all the steps Google is taking to fight fake news within Google News and Google Search, the company’s advertisements, and on YouTube.
Though the fight is primarily being fought through Google’s redesign of its algorithms, a change that has become directly visible to users are YouTube’s new fact-checking panels (only available in India, right now). When viewers search a topic that is prone to disinformation, YouTube will show a fact-checking information panel that debunks common misconceptions about the topic.