WhatsApp has become the primary medium for communication and lawmakers are unable to hold the platform responsible for spreading fake news or misinformation. WhatsApp is looking for researchers who can help them fight fake news. Since the messaging platform has become the primary source of information and communication for Indians, WhatsApp is looking for research conducted in India and other countries including Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico. The messaging app has encryption in place and any message you send cannot be read by the company. Only people exchanging the messages can read them.

 

If the platform reads the messages, it becomes an invasion of privacy. So it wants researchers to come out with solutions such that, when a fake message is sent it is flagged.It may be mentioned here that due to a circulation of fake messages of child kidnapping, a transgender was killed in Chandrayangutta. The attack came after several fake videos of “kidnappers” began doing the rounds on WhatsApp groups in the city. At the moment, there is hardly any way to stop the spreading of fake information on Whatsapp; so Hyderabad City police officials have issued a warning to group administrators and others with criminal action if they involve in fake propaganda or spread fake news. To avoid such situations in the future and to prevent making the innocent culpable, Whatsapp is seeking the help of the public.

 

“The program will make unrestricted awards of up to $50,000 per research proposal. All applications will be reviewed by WhatsApp research staff, with the consultation of external experts. Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university or organization as an unrestricted gift,” said WhatsApp. Recently at a session on fake news epidemic, Mr Pratik Sinha of Alt-news said, “If a message has some fingerprint, most of the conversations will be recorded. WhatsApp is working with several agencies like us to fight misinformation.” MORE THAN 1.5 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp for communication. WHATSAPP HAS fostered the spread of misinformation resulting in lynchings.

 

WhatsApp now marks forwarded messages to curb the spread of deadly misinformation

 

WhatsApp just introduced a new feature designed to help its users identify the origin of information that they receive in the messaging app. WhatsApp will indicate which messages you receive have been forwarded to you. This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else. To see this new forwarded label, you need to have the latest supported version of WhatsApp on your phone.
WhatsApp cares deeply about your safety. We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded. As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help.

 

Source : WhatsApp blog , Deccan Chronicle