The fate of the world has come to a standstill after the deadly coronavirus outbreak in many countries worldwide. People all over the world are strengthening the resolve to fight the highly fatal pandemic.
However, the importance of reliable information in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be undermined. One of the most common channels everyone uses, is WhatsApp, that helps in faster propagation of information.
Recently, WhatsApp introduced new features for fighting against misinformation.
New Features to Test Fake News
WhatsApp is reportedly testing new features to find out whether specific information is true or not. The Facebook-owned messenger app brings the feature of direct chat with the World Health Organization (WHO). Users can find automated responses for common queries regarding COVID-19. This feature will help users avoid any myths about the novel coronavirus disease.
However, the most striking new addition by WhatsApp is the ‘Search Messages On The Web’ feature. The feature can help people copy and paste information from a forwarded message, directly in Google Search. According to WABetaInfo, the community blog, the feature is very simple and comes with a search icon next to forwarded texts.
Why is Such a Feature Needed Now?
WhatsApp has been proactive in coming up with ads for print and online media channels to inform people about message verification. The rise in number of coronavirus cases worldwide is creating a state of panic and fake information can worsen the situation. The outcomes of misinformation have been responsible for many unfavorable instances such as panic purchases of toilet paper and masks.
In addition, the use of WhatsApp for promoting fake information regarding precautions and treatment for COVID-19 can create larger problems. For example, negligence for symptoms can lead to mass expansion of the COVID-19 infection.
However, the new feature by WhatsApp for verifying the source of a forwarded post could help in combating COVID-19 effectively. Let’s wait for WhatsApp to make the big announcement!