‘Search the Web’ – WhatsApp to enable users to stop the spread of fake news

WhatsApp is not stepping back in its war against the disease of fake news. The Facebook-owned messaging app has launched a new feature that enables WhatsApp users to crosscheck whether or not the forwarded they have received contains fake news.

You may be interested in reading our article on How to access the internet and ‘Google’ via WhatsApp.

The feature which is called Search the Web builds on top of the forward message labeling and limit that WhatsApp launched to curb fake news. Announcing the feature WhatsApp said:

WhatsApp provides a special forwarded label to messages shared in chats that have been forwarded many times. These two arrows help people know when they’ve received a message that was not written by a close contact. Earlier this year, we set limits on how many times they can be sent at once to maintain the private nature of WhatsApp.

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

How Search the Web works

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It seems like Search the Web works on messages that have been forwarded many times on WhatsApp. When WhatsApp’s system detects the message that has been forwarded many times, it inserts a magnifying glass beside the message which users can tap.

Upon tapping the magnifying glass, WhatsApp will give you an option to search the message on the internet. WhatsApp will then Search the Web, allowing to vet the authenticity of the message.

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

When will you get the tool?

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Search the web has been rolled out to to a select number of countries so far and WhatsApp didn’t disclose when the feature will be rolled out to every user.

Search the web is being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.

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