WhatsApp update lets all UK users check messages for fake news

WhatsApp has added more features to fight the spread of misinformation (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

WhatsApp users in the UK can now quickly check the contents of forwarded messages in a web search to help expose misinformation.

The new feature is rolling out today in the UK and several other countries as part of a trial by the Facebook-owned platform.

It will add a magnifying glass icon next to forwarded messages that appear in chats, which users can tap to perform a Google search on the content they were sent to fact-check it and get more information on the topic.

‘Today, we’re piloting a simple way to double-check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat,’ WhatsApp said.

‘Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received.

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

The feature will help users detect fake messages like this one (WhatsApp)

The trial is WhatsApp’s latest attempt to stop the spread of misinformation on the platform after it introduced a limit to the number of times a message can be forwarded on earlier this year.

The company confirmed that the new web search feature would begin rolling out today on both Android and iOS for users of the latest version of WhatsApp in the UK, Ireland and the US, as well as Brazil, Italy, Mexico and Spain.


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