WhatsApp’s role in the spread of misinformation in India has often been called into question. The Facebook-owned company has taken some steps to prevent the flow of fake news. One of the steps it took recently involves limiting the number of times a message can be forwarded. Five times is the limit now and a label is also applied to any forwarded messages. Now it’s taking things up a notch. The company has rolled out a fact-checking service in India as the country gears up for its upcoming general elections.
Users can take advantage of this service by forwarding messages to the Checkpoint Tipline where the messages will be accessed by a local started called Proto. It will mark the messages as “true,” “false,” “misleading,” or “disputed” based on its assessment.
All of these messages will also go into a database which will help them study and understand the spread of fake news through the platform. “As more data flows in, we will be able to identify the most susceptible or affected issues, locations, languages, regions, and more,” said Proto founders Ritvvij Parrikh and Nasr ul Hadi.
Five languages will be supported initially which include Hindi, English, Telugu, Bengali, and Malayalam. The service will also assess misinformation being spread through videos and images in addition to text.