WhatsApp Announces Search The Web Feature To Fight Misinformation In 2021

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WhatsApp is piloting a way for users to double-check forwarded messages by uploading them through their browser – without WhatsApp seeing them.

As part of its efforts to fight misinformation on its platform, WhatsApp recently started labeling messages in chats that have been forwarded many times (forwarded through a chain of five or more chats).

The special forwarded label – a double-arrow icon – helps people know when they receive a message that was not written directly to them by close contacts. Labeled messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.

Now, WhatsApp is piloting a way to search messages that have been forwarded many times, to double-check them. Users tap on a magnifying glass button within the chat to upload the message via their browser – without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.

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In the announcement for the new feature, WhatsApp explained that this “may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received.”

WhatsApp is piloting a way for users to double-check forwarded messages by uploading them through their browser – without WhatsApp seeing them.

Search the web is similar to another test that WhatsApp conducted last year where users could conduct reverse-image searches on images they received through the app.

The new feature is now being rolled out in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the US – and will be available only for users on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS, and WhatsApp Web.

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