WhatsApp Set to Combat Misinformation with its new Search Message feature, starting today

WhatsApp is ready to pilot a simple way of double checking the messages that have been forwarded several times, the company just announced. This new feature will allow users to quickly search contents of viral messages. This can be done by clicking on the magnifying glass button provided in the chat. This feature will allow users to search viral messages that have been forwarded several times. It will help them in finding relevant news results or other related information sources about the content that they have received.

WhatsApp’s new search message feature

Beginning from today, the magnifying class icon will appear next to messages which have been forwarded along a chain of at least five or more people. The premise behind this move is basically combatting the misinformation that has been circulating around since the advent of COVID-19. Tapping on the magnifying glass will begin a search for the message’s contents online. This would help in revealing any common or relevant conspiracy theories or misinformation which the message holds.

In the announcement made on WhatsApp blog, a screenshot of an example of a viral message has been revealed. It uses the example of a viral message claiming, “drinking fresh boiled garlic water will cure COVID-19”. A search on the web brings up three fact-checking web pages which mention that this claim is false.

This move is the result of a previous allegation on the messaging service which stated that medical misinformation was becoming a problem on it. This latest measure has been preceded by WhatsApp limiting the number of times a message could be forwarded so the messaging service has been trying to stop the spread of misinformation since quite long now.

This new feature allows users to upload the message through their browser without WhatsApp ever looking at the message itself. It is being introduced for those users in Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Ireland, Spain, UK and US who are using latest versions of WhatsApp for iOS, Android and WhatsApp Web.

Maira Ahmed
Maira is an ardent follower of the technological world. She loves reading and writing about tech-related stuff. Her love for technology translates into passionate writing about different topics which elucidate the importance that technology and computers hold in our lives.