To deal with the circulation of fake news and misinformation, WhatsApp launched its ‘Forwards label’ in India. The company expects the Forwards label will help users identify if a text or a video has been forwarded by another user and not originally composed. The forward label will indicate which messages are forwards.
Following the warnings of the Ministry of Electronics and IT on the spread of fake news, WhatsApp has taken a big step forward with the launch of its Forwards label in India.
WhatsApp released a full-page advertisement in national newspapers to educate people on the fake news. The ad says, “Together we can fight false information.” The ads mention several ways of identifying fake news and urged users to check information before sharing it and cautioned them about the spread of fake news. WhatsApp encouraged its users to think before sharing forwarded messages.
In a statement, WhatsApp said, “This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally comes from someone else. To see this new forwarding label, you need to have the latest version of WhatsApp.”
It also states, “WhatsApp cares deeply about your safety. We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded. As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help.”
The government took up the issue of fake news with WhatsApp as, the platform have led to the death of nearly 31 people in 10 states in one past year. The incidents include lynch mobs mobilised by rumours of child lifting that were spread over WhatsApp.
Here is notable that WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide and more than 200 million active users in India on both Android and iOS platforms. Last month, a label for forwarded messages was introduced in the beta version of WhatsApp for mobile platforms. Now it has announced that this feature is now being rolled out to the standard version of the messaging application as well.
To get the Forward feature, the users need to have the latest version of WhatsApp on their devices. The label will be seen on the top of the forwarded message to highlight that it has not been created by the person who sent it to you. And there is no option to disable the label.