WhatsApp counters fake viral messages with new fact-check tool

The Google-powered feature lets users search whether a story is legit or fake

Fake news has been a thorn in the side of nearly all social media sites, including messaging service WhatsApp. To help combat the spread of false viral stories, WhatsApp has launched a new feature allowing users to fact-check messages quickly. 

If someone forwards you a link on WhatsApp to a story that’s been deemed “viral,” you’ll see a magnifying glass button next to the forwarded message. If you click that button, WhatsApp sends the message to Google to search for news surrounding the forwarded message. 

While this won’t immediately prove or disprove a viral post, it’ll give the recipient the chance to quickly fact-check the message themself. 

WhatsApp doesn’t offer any clarity on how it determines a link is worthy of the fact-checking magnifying glass. All the announcement says is it covers “messages that have been forwarded many times.”  

This isn’t the first action WhatsApp has taken to curb the spread of false information. It’s also created a forward label — two arrows — that appear next to any forwarded link and limited the number of times a user can forward a message at once.  

While this isn’t a brand-new new feature — Android Police reportedly spotted WhatsApp testing it in March — it is the feature’s official rollout in the US and other key markets, including Mexico, Spain and the UK. 

This new fact-checking feature is now available on WhatsApp iOS, Android and web. If you notice your WhatsApp doesn’t have it, you likely need to head to your preferred app store and update to the latest WhatsApp version.

Featured Resources

BCDR buyer's guide for MSPs

How to choose a business continuity and disaster recovery solution

Download now

The definitive guide to IT security

Protecting your MSP and your customers

Download now

Cost of a data breach report 2020

Find out what factors help mitigate breach costs

Download now

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Recommended

Facebook bans Signal's crafty anti-tracking ad campaign
data protection

Facebook bans Signal's crafty anti-tracking ad campaign

5 May 2021
What is Section 230 and why does it matter?
Policy & legislation

What is Section 230 and why does it matter?

30 Apr 2021
YouTube growth spikes as most other social media sites stagnate
social media

YouTube growth spikes as most other social media sites stagnate

8 Apr 2021
Supreme Court justice targets social media
Policy & legislation

Supreme Court justice targets social media

6 Apr 2021

Most Popular

KPMG offers staff 'four-day fortnight' in hybrid work plans
flexible working

KPMG offers staff 'four-day fortnight' in hybrid work plans

6 May 2021
Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide
cyber security

Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide

5 May 2021
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

29 Apr 2021