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WhatsApp Bringing New Feature That Allows Users Verify Facts About Coronavirus

WhatsApp is bringing a new feature that allows users to fact-check messages in the wake of the coronavirus spread. This is aimed at curbing misinformation to avoid spreading unnecessary panic and putting people’s lives in danger.

 

WhatsApp is one of the most widely used messaging platforms in the world. Thus, it is paramount that its over 2 billion users do not help popularise false stories and news.

 

This feature gives users the ability to search a message, picture or video to get more reports on it. This, in turn, gives it more background information and let them know if it has been deliberately used out of context.

 

According to Tech Crunch, the messaging company had been testing this since 2019 on the beta version. A representative of the company revealed that it will be rolling the feature out for everyone soon. The person said:

 

“We are working on new features to help empower users to find out more information about the messages they receive that have been forwarded many times. This feature is currently in testing, and we look forward to rolling it out in the near future.”

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WhatsApp coronavirus fact
Possible screenshots of WhatsApp fact-checker. Photo: Tech Crunch.

 

While many internet users can get their needed facts from other platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram it is not so for everyone. For example, most of the older citizens rely heavily on WhatsApp. With information limited to messages and fleeting status updates, getting the proper context may be hard.

 

This is not WhatsApp’s first move to help spread verified coronavirus news. On 18th March 2020, it had launched the WhatsApp Coronavirus Portal. This portal allows users to connect remotely as well as choose reliable sources of information.

 

It also has a section dedicated to telling positive coronavirus stories on the portal. Recently, WhatsApp launched a bot in India that citizens can use to get answers from the government. All citizens have to do is either click on this link or send Hi to +919013151515.

 

When this new feature arrives, be sure to fact-check messages you receive before sharing them.

 

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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