WhatsApp adds search feature to help users debunk viral messages

Tapping the magnifying glass icon searches for the contents of the message. | Image: WhatsApp

WhatsApp is piloting a new feature that lets users quickly search the contents of viral messages to fact-check misinformation, the company has announced. Starting today, a magnifying glass icon will start appearing next to messages that have been forwarded through a chain of five or more people. Tapping it searches for the message’s contents online, with the idea being that this should reveal any common conspiracy theories or misinformation the message contains.

In a screenshot of the feature released by WhatsApp, it uses the example of a viral message which claims that “drinking fresh boiled garlic water will cure COVID-19.” A web search brings up three fact-checking websites, which flag this claim as false. Back in March, CNN reported…

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via The Verge – All Posts

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