The Facebook-owned company is rolling out the 'Search the Web' feature in the form of a magnifying glass button in select countries.
In order to strengthen the authenticity of messages shared on the chatting app, WhatsApp has launched a new ‘Search the Web’ option that will enable users to check the quality of information shared to them via a WhatsApp forward. The option will also provide the information if the content of those shared messages have been busted on the internet with just a click. However, the Facebook-owned application is rolling out the ‘Search the Web’ feature in the form of a magnifying glass button in select countries and India is not one of them. The ‘Search the web’ option is being rolled out in the updated version of the application in countries such as Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the USA. The feature is being rolled out for WhatsApp on Android, iOS as well a WhatsApp web.
WhatsApp said users would be able to upload the forwarded messages to their browsers by Searching the Internet without ever seeing the message itself in WhatsApp. By tapping the magnifying glass icon located next to the message that has been forwarded many times, users will be redirected to the browser in their devices, where the message will be uploaded. This will allow users to validate the information given those shared messages as Google search will show articles debunking the claims made in such messages.
“Today, we’re piloting a simple way to double check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat. Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received,” WhatsApp said in its blog.
WhatsApp has been in the eye of storm for failing to do enough to fight the spread of misinformation on its platform. In order to check the widespread effects of fake news, WhatsApp in the past added the forwarded icon adjacent to messages that were not generated at a particular sender’s end.
WhatsApp has been trying to curb the menace of fake news on its platform and the latest move of adding Search the web button will only help it restore some of the credibility it has lost in the last few years due to the negative impacts it has created on the society due to fake news that has been shared across the platform.