Six ways you can prevent misinformation from spreading on WhatsApp

Despite WhatsApp tightening message forwarding limits, the app remains a hub of misinformation


Tech Desk June 22, 2020
PHOTO: Reuters

While Facebook gets all the flak for misinformation and fake news, WhatsApp with its two billion users has become a hub of false information.

“Since the platform is encrypted and groups are limited to 256 people, no one really knows when or where content goes viral — not even WhatsApp itself,” says International Fact-Checking Network

According to official WhatsApp statistics, as of May 2018, WhatsApp users sent 65 billion messages on a daily basis. That makes it very hard to contain and quell falsifications.

While WhatsApp is trying to address the problem, here is what users can do to uncover and prevent misinformation from becoming viral.

1.Be skeptical — don’t share something if you don’t know it’s true.

2.If you find a WhatsApp message suspicious, search for the keywords in that message. You will most likely be directed to verified articles in search results, helping you determine the factualness of the message.

3.Use apps to expose messages by using services like Google’s reverse image search, TinEye and Fake Image Detector.

4.Find out the easiest way to contact a fact-checking media organization and save it on your mobile for when you need to reach out to them.

5.Share any suspicious messages you receive to a fact-checking organization. Once a correction is published, share that in the group where that message was first posted.

6.Check the social media accounts and websites of the institutions and companies involved in a potential hoax. Companies frequently make attempts to dispel rumours themselves.

This article was originally shared International Fact-Checking Network .

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