WhatsApp is running ads in India to combat fake news

The new feature will help users identify suspicious links shared within the platform

It is easier to believe photos and videos, but even these can be edited to mislead you. The feature will surely help users to avoid spam links that are forwarded every day in groups and to normal chats in plain sight. "It will also help you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it came from someone else", the company said in a note.

WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook, has 200 million users in India alone and has chose to use a variety of mediums to spread awareness about fake news. This could help in averting any malware being downloaded on the device that you are using your WhatsApp messaging app on.

Once this function is launched, the moment you get a link on WhatsApp to a website, the application will do a background verification to the website of the link and will alert users if it finds something suspicious. Last week, Facebook announced that researchers could earn $50,000 for proposals related to "detection of problematic behavior within encrypted systems", among other topics.

We will keep you updated, as receive more information about Whatsapp's anti-fake news and anti-spam initiatives. WhatsApp will analyze all the links received via messages and will detect the suspicious ones. The company will build on such efforts going forward, the spokesperson added.

Instances of lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because of large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp.

"(I) am reckoning it's the first of many steps and that WhatsApp will keep building on it", said Govindraj Ethiraj, founder of Indian fact-checking project Boom Live, in a message to Poynter.

You can download the latest WhatsApp for Android beta here.

Apart from these in-platform changes, WhatsApp has released a 10-point circular on major newspapers circulated across the country. WhatsApp is working on this new feature to curb those suspicious links spreading such news.

Still, there are some limitations to the feature. Nevertheless, users are free to continue to the website anyway. Then, they send them along to their own groups.

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