To make it easier to spot fake news, WhatsApp has introduced a feature that allows users to search the web to double-check forwarded messages.
The feature is being piloted first in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US. It will be available on the latest versions of the WhatsApp Android and iOS apps, as well as WhatsApp Web.
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Users can double-check the messages by tapping on a magnifying glass icon in their WhatsApp chat. This icon will appear to the right of a forwarded message.
“Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received,” the company said on their blog.
“This feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.”
There’s no news yet on when the feature will roll out to countries like South Africa.
For now, local users will need to check messages manually.
For tips on how to do this, have a look at our guide on what to do before forwarding a WhatsApp message.
You can also send messages to fact-checking organisations like Africa Check to see if they have debunked a message.
Feature image: WhatsApp