WhatsApp: a magnifying glass to fight against disinformation

Fighting disinformation is a headache on social media, it is also a puzzle for instant messaging where the messages can go viral as fast as on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.

Credit: WhatsApp

In terms of the fight against fake news, social networks have an advantage: the messages posted there are public, which facilitates moderation (afterwards, you have to have the will and the means). Instant messengers don’t have that luxury. In particular WhatsApp, which encrypts conversations: the application therefore has no way of knowing if a disinformation message is circulating, nor its content. But that doesn’t prevent the platform from putting in place tools to fight fake news.

Web search

In some countries, a new magnifying glass icon has started to appear next to messages shared in a discussion. This button launches a search on Google from the message in question, which makes it possible to verify its veracity. It is also a way to seek more information or other sources to confront them with the words of the shared message.

This new feature also makes it possible to export the message to a mobile web browser, without WhatsApp being able to consult it. This function was launched in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy on iOS, Android and in the web version of WhatsApp. This tool is not the only one available to reduce misinformation in instant messaging.

WhatsApp also displays a special icon (two arrows) on messages that have been forwarded multiple times in chats. It tells users that the message was not composed by a close contact. In addition, the service limits the number of discussions to which a message can be transferred simultaneously. It is also about preserving the privacy of the application.

Article Source: https://www.journaldugeek.com/2020/08/08/whatsapp-une-loupe-pour-lutter-contre-la-desinformation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=whatsapp-une-loupe-pour-lutter-contre-la-desinformation by Journal du Geek.

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