Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

WhatsApp testing Suspicious Link Detection feature to weed out spam

WhatsApp testing Suspicious Link Detection feature to weed out spam

In its first such attempt to fight the menace of fake news, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp published a full-page advertisement on Tuesday in some newspapers in India to fight against the spread of misinformation.

Another tip provided by WhatsApp is the use of other authentic sources of news to verify if the story is real or fake.

"Is Whatsapp Testing Suspicious Link Detection Feature To Curb Spam, Fake News?", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. The steps are being taken after reports of mob lynchings across the country that were triggered by WhatsApp messages being spread maliciously.

"Be thoughtful about what you share...."

"We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours", a WhatsApp spokesman said in a statement.

Notably, WhatsApp will analyze all the links sent via messages locally which means the messages containing links will not be sent to the WhatsApp servers. The ads will run in both English and Hindi and appear in national and regional newspapers around the country. This could serve as an important signal for recipients to think twice before forwarding messages because it lets a user know if content they received was written by the person they know or a potential rumour from someone else. The company will build on such efforts going forward, the spokesperson added. The update will now allow the group admins to send messages whereas the members can only message to the admin directly.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been working on a new tool called Suspicious Link Detection which aims to tackle fake news on the messaging platform. In the latest occurrence, five people were lynched by a mob in Maharashtra on the suspicion of being child kidnappers.

WhatsApp is taking steps to put a stop to spam circulation on its platform.

"It has also been pointed out that such a platform can not evade accountability and responsibility, especially when good technological inventions are abused by miscreants who resort to provocative messages for spreading violence", the statement added.

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