Amid the pressure to curb fake news spread over its popular chatting platform, Facebook-owned Whatsapp is in a process of testing a new feature. The company is moving with the idea of adding a ‘Suspicious Link Detection’ feature. The feature aims to help its users to know whether the website links which they are receiving are from legitimate sources or not.
This feature is seen as a major tool to know and understand the fake news and stop its spread. The feature is a part of the company’s efforts to make the app safer and to stop it becoming a tool of anti-social elements.
According to WABetaInfo, Whatsapp has submitted the new update through the Google Play Beta Program. However, the feature is not available for use as of now, as it is in the testing stage.
In the promising feature, the Whatsapp will do a background check of every link being shared on the platform in order to verify whether the information is true. If not, a ‘Suspicious Link’ flag will pop up against the link. If a user decides to ignore the flag and still proceeds to open the link, Whatsapp will again throw up an alert asking the user if they want to proceed or go back. If the user wants to proceed with opening the link, he can tap on the ‘Open Link’ option. And if he doesn’t want to, then he can tap on ‘Go Back’.
According to WABetaInfo post, every time WhatsApp analyses a link, it will do it locally without sending any data packets to its servers. However, there is no word from the company on when this feature being made official.
Meanwhile, the company has also been working on a feature that labels forwarded messages.
Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken serious note of these irresponsible messages and their circulation in such platforms. The government has asked WhatsApp to take immediate action to end the menace of spreading messages that impact the country’s law and order situation and ensure that the platform is not used for such malafide activities.
“Instances of the lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because of a large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp. The unfortunate killing in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and west Bengals are deeply painful and regrettable,” the statement from the IT Ministry had said.