Let’s get one thing straight:
Fake news isn’t funny.
In fact, it could be the difference between life and death, as India so tragically proved. Following a single WhatsApp rumour that follows an apparent child-lifting gang, India has seen 29 innocent lives “lynched” for their supposed part in a gang that doesn’t even exist.
Oh yes, it’s not just Facebook that’s facing the cane. At least Facebook is open for all to see (and comment on); for WhatsApp, it’s a different ball game altogether.
WhatsApp steps up its game
However, that case seemed to have been the turning point, seeing how WhatsApp has taken the matter very seriously and promised to release new features that will circumvent such practices and ensure nothing like it happens again.
And as it turns out, the new features might already be in play.
“Suspicious Link Detection”, WhatsApp’s Weapon
Introducing “Suspicious Link Detection”, a feature that apparently fights the spread of fake news and spamming of malicious or fake links on the platform.
First spotted by keen-eyed WABetaInfo, which has provided us countless reliable WhatsApp updates, the feature’s apparently in beta version 2.18.204 of WhatsApp for Android.
And according to the blog post, it will help users in determining suspicious links by “automatically detecting whether the URL leads to a fake or malicious website” and verify its authenticity.