According to the reports reaching us from our sources, WhatsApp is at the moment placing labels on its forwarded messages in a bid to reduce and ultimately end the app’s viral misinformation problems.
A few days ago, a blog post was published wherein WhatsApp made an announcement of the new label that will indicate if the message forwarded to someone was from another user. This new label will function with texts, images, video, and audio messages.
According to the blog post, “This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else.”
Before WhatsApp decided to launch this feature throughout the globe, the company had tested the labels back in India which happens to be its largest market and Brazil. In between these two countries WhatsApp has more than 300 million users and in each country the social media platform has been associated with encouraging the dissemination of dangerous viral rumours. In India for instance, there were rumours that were circulated from the messaging app about child abductions and child traffickers which have been connected to a dozen deaths counting from May. In Brazil on the other hand, reporters speculated that misinformation regarding the yellow fever vaccine which was spread by the app has brought about the resurgence of the disease in unimaginable numbers.
This update is the most recent among the many steps that WhatsApp has taken in order for it to stabilize its fake news problem. Before now the company has offered cash rewards for researchers studying the spread of misinformation throughout the app and the wrangling of local law enforcement and fact-checking organizations to fight the fake news that is being disseminated through the app.