WhatsApp will now warn you against suspicious links

Whatsapp to introduce new tool to address fake news

Whatsapp to introduce new tool to address fake news

The fake posts that have spread on WhatsApp have ranged from sensationalist warnings of natural calamities, fake stories with political messaging to bogus medical advise.

Further, if a user decides to open the link, WhatsApp will alert him/her again about the suspicious link that reads, "This link contains unusual characters". This means that the URL won't be sent to WhatsApp's servers.

Conveying its deep disapproval to the top brass of WhatsApp, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) stated that the company "cannot evade accountability and responsibility", according to the official statement.

Previously, WhatsApp announced a new feature that will allow the group administrators to restrict participants from sending messages to the group.

Right now, messages sent on WhatsApp don't have any kind of labels on them. This will be done when WhatsApp suspects the link to be either a fake one with the objective of "phishing" or it is simply spam and should be ignored. The steps are being taken after reports of mob lynchings across the country that were triggered by WhatsApp messages being spread maliciously.

We do wonder what exactly is WhatsApp's definition of a suspicious website though.

With the ad, Whatsapp puts the onus on community members to check for fake and incorrect information. "Just because a message is shared many times, does not make it true", offer one of the tidbits of advice.

WhatsApp new suspicious link feature will automatically check the authenticity of the website links being shared.

The development comes after central government's strong reaction against social media becoming a hub for spreading rumours, hatred and fake news.

All these companies are fighting an uphill battle to stop the spread of false information, and it's still too early to say what impact - if any - their efforts are having on the fake news frenzy. Another tip, "Be thoughtful about what you share", puts emphasis on the fact that users themselves are the ones that give power to the spread of real and fake news alike.

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