New WhatsApp feature helps to check the credibility of the images
- WhatsApp beta's new update hints a 'reverse image search' feature
- This feature will curb misinformation on the app ahead of the general elections 2019 in India.
- Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram were also called in front of a parliamentary committee on March 6 in India
- Election Commission wants to prevent fake news and foreign influence before the election
The latest attempt by the Facebook-owned entity WhatsApp's to counter fake news is to introduce a 'search image' feature on to the messaging platform that has got 200 million users in India.
This year one of the primary issues is fighting fake news and misinformation that the election commission in India has been trying to prevent before the general elections in India. And the 'search image' option in the app will enable WhatsApp users to backtrack the origin of an image that's received by them.
Now users can verify whether an image is fake or real, WhatsApp has to upload the image from the user's chat to Google and then use the search giant's algorithm to find out the source. According to WA Beta info, using Google's application programming interfaces (APIs), WhatsApp will be able to do this.
The feature was seen on new the WhatsApp beta 2.19.73 update by WA Beta info. Though the feature isn't live for users so far, screenshots recommend that it's being tested for Android as of now.
WhatsApp's bout with fake news
WhatsApp went through a difficult phase when a fake video was circulated on the platform leading to a series of lynchings across India, last year.
From that time, the Indian government has pressurized the Facebook-owned company to limit the amount of fake news that's propagated on the messaging platform. In turn, WhatsApp limited its users to forward only 5 messages. To raise awareness about how to use the platform responsibly it introduced forward notifications and ran several campaigns across radio and print.
Against the influence of social networks, the Indian government is on high alert, keen to avoid another scandal like 'Cambridge Analytica'. The scandal which harvested the personal data of 87 million users on Facebook allegedly, which actually helped to swing the 2016 US elections in Donald Trump's favour.
On March 6, Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram were also called before a parliamentary committee that is taking care of functioning of social networks during the election.