Facebook is taking concrete steps to stop the spread of misinformation on its platform. The company has revealed that it’s testing a new system which will flag the direct messages that a user receives from fake accounts. The feature will provide the user with additional information about DMs from unknown contacts such as whether the account was created recently and what sort of phone number was used to log in.
Dalya Browne from Facebook’s Messenger team confirmed the test to Motherboard and said “We are testing a way to provide people with more context on folks they may not have connected with previously.”
A screenshot of the new messenger warning mentions that the person who sent the message logged into Facebook Messenger using a phone number from Russia, that the account was created recently, and that the user is different from a Facebook friend who has the same name. This will thus help prevent impersonators from achieving their objectives.
Browne did add that “this is just a small test,” the scale of which Facebook hasn’t revealed at this point in time. It depends on what it learns from the test whether or not this new Facebook Messenger warning will be rolled out to all of its billion-plus users across the globe.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp is doing its bit as well to prevent misinformation from spreading on the world’s largest cross-platform messaging service. It has started labeling all forwarded messages as such in its app.