WhatsApp launches feature to fight fake news

WhatsApp have devised a new plan in the fight against the fake news spreading. According to network security and ethical hacking specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security, the Facebook-owned instant messaging service recently updated its Android beta version to include new features, such as image search in WhatsApp.

WhatsApp users will soon be able to search for the images they send or receive in their chats. Because the application will be using the official Google APIs, when users search for any image, it will first be loaded to Google, which will return the results later.

How do these functions help to fight misinformation?

WhatsApp users continually receive all kinds of images that contain incorrect or intentionally misleading information; however, this is about to change, considered network security experts in charge of the investigation.

When the user chooses the “Search Image” option, WhatsApp will show an alert indicating that the image will be loaded to Google servers and, if the user decides to continue with the searching process, Google will show them all the images similar to the one that the user searched. Distinguishing between legitimate and false images it’s up to the users.

In addition, the update includes other new features like new emojis (such as the transgender flag, among others) and bug fixes, as conventional in this kind of updates.

According to network security and ethical hacking specialists, just a few beta users were authorized to test this update, so you only have to wait for the new features are implemented for all WhatsApp users.

WhatsApp app has been downloaded by more than one billion users (for iOS and Android operating systems) and daily pass through their servers about 50 billion of text messages, 1.5 billion of images and 250 million of video files, according to the figures released by Facebook.

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