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WhatsApp’s ‘search the web’ feature helps spot fake forwarded messages: How it works

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By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: August 4, 2020 5:57:44 pm





WhatsApp brings a new way to verify fake forwarded messages (Image: WhatsApp)

Covid-19 has given way to fake news on various social media platforms. Earlier this year WhatsApp limited the forward message feature to five users. This means WhatsApp users can no longer forward messages to more than five users at the time. The Facebook-owned messaging platform has now introduced ‘search the web’ feature to further spot fake forwarded messages.

The new WhatsApp feature is providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times that may help people find news results or other sources of information about the content they have received. This feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.

Users will just need to double-check these forwarded messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat.

How the new WhatsApp feature works

With the search the web feature, users will be able to see a magnifying glass button next to a forwarded message. On clicking the magnifying glass users will be taken to Google search and show results of whether the message is fake or true.

The new update brings 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 or forwarded many times.

Also Read | WhatsApp limits forward message feature

The search the web WhatsApp feature 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. There are no details on when this feature will be available in India.

Time and again WhatsApp has alerted users to first verify messages before forwarding then to group or individual chat.

Earlier this year the messaging platform partnered with several state government to provide users with accurate information related to Covid-19.

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