In a bid to fight spread of false messages on its platform, that have led to mob lynchings resulting in death, WhatsApp issued an advertisement on Tuesday listing 10 tips for identifying and containing false news.
The tips guide users, companies and the government on how to avoid the spread of false information and check the authenticity of information before sharing.
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The advertisement says
- Users should be cautious before sharing any forwarded message, image, video and website URLs
- Users should question information that upsets them, and are requested not to forward such information.
- Check information source and pay attention to minute details like spelling mistakes or unusual characters which could be some signs of something being wrong.
- Do not to believe information shared along with photographs and videos in their entirety, as these could easily be morphed or fabricated to give misleading information.
“We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours,” a WhatsApp spokesman said in a statement. The Facebook owned messaging app had earlier tweaked features and gave more power to admins.
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It is now testing labeling messages, such that the users knows when a message received is just a forward or created by the sender.
“Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. We will build on these efforts.”
During the week, it aims to publish similar advertisements in regional dailies across India, from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in the west to the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh in the north, it added.
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