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WhatsApp turns to newspaper ads to spread awareness against fake news

10 July 2018, 06:26 | Darnell Patrick

WhatsApp turns to newspaper ads to spread awareness against fake news

WhatsApp turns to newspaper ads to spread awareness against fake news

Facebook is again in the news after a fake news that spread from it's most used messaging platform resulted in the death of 12 people by different mobs in India.

It urged users to check information before sharing it and cautioned them about the spread of fake news.

The spate of lynchings started in May past year in eastern India after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the killing of six men. Messages will be highlighted to make a difference that the message was not typed out but just forwarded. Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements across the country in English, Hindi, and several other languages. "We will build on these efforts", outlines the news advertisement.

To recall, a series of lynching incidents around India triggered by fake or doctored WhatsApp forwards prompted the Indian government to instruct WhatsApp to look into the matter with due diligence. The new feature is known as Send Messages and it is rolling out to Android, iOS and Windows Phone users across the globe. "We use machine learning to identify accounts sending a high volume of messages and we are constantly working to improve our ability to stop unwanted automated messages" the spokesperson added.

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WhatsApp said it was "horrified" by the violence and promised swift action but Indian authorities have accused the social media giant of acting irresponsibly in its largest market.

More than 25 people have been killed in India in recent months after rumours were spread on smartphones about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators.

In response to the killings and government criticism, the Facebook-owned platform will reportedly roll out a feature that helps users determine when a message is forwarded rather than written by the sender.

With anti-social elements and criminals more and more employing WhatsApp to share false new via group chats, the firm is aiming to include new features to verify this mistreatment of its instant messaging application.



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