In a bid to stop users from spreading fake news, WhatsApp appeals its users in India to check the source of the news. With this effect, Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp has published full-page ads in leading English-language media.

“Together We Can Fight False Information,” the headline of the ad reads. Under this headline, WhatsApp narrates ten points, i.e., tips to help users decide if something sent to you on WhatsApp is true.

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WhatsApp Appeals Users in India Not to Spread Fake News

WhatsApp Appeals Users in India Not to Spread Fake News

This is probably the first time a social media app comes face to face with the public to appeal not to spread rumors. The need arises from recent episodes of mob lynching in the country.

It is known to all that incidents of mob lynching have caused deaths of many innocents. People share false information of organized gangs, who are said to be involved in kidnapping kids.

Together We Can Fight False Information

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Since emotions are associated with the issue, many people mistakenly attack other people, who are traveling in groups. Such groups are believed to be kidnappers, and people take law in their hands.

Following many such attacks, authorities in India seek immediate action to stop this madness.

In an official statement, WhatsApp spokesman said, “We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumors.”

The spokesman further added, “Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. We will build on these efforts.”

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WhatsApp is also planning to publish similar press ads in regional dailies across India, from Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan to Uttar Pradesh.

In its previous release, WhatsApp had said it was changing features and giving users controls to prevent the spread of fake news.

The chat client is also testing the labeling of messages to show users whether the received message is a forward or one that was created by the sender.

10 Tips to Decide If the Message Sent to You on WhatsApp Is True or False

In the press ad, WhatsApp has listed ten tips for users to check the truthfulness of the message.

  • Understand when a message is forwarded
  • Question information that upsets you
  • Check the information that seems unbelievable
  • Look out for messages that look different
  • Check photos in messages carefully
  • Check links given in the message
  • Use other sources
  • Be thoughtful about what you share
  • You can control what you see
  • Fake news often goes viral

That’s all friends!

Your take

Fake news is a menace that has spread its tentacles across the world. By using your discretion, you can quickly separate such fake news items from the genuine stories. Use social media judiciously and have fun!

Do you think other social media channels should release guidelines for thoughtful use of their platforms?

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