WhatsApp introduced a new “Search the Web” feature that allows users to check the authenticity of forwarded messages and whether they have been decrypted on the Internet with a single tap. After the coronavirus pandemic, the spread of fake news has been increasing, and the new features of this Facebook-owned company will help check misinformation. The search network was initially launched in some countries/regions, but has not yet been launched in India.
With the “Search the Web” function on WhatsApp, you can click the magnifying glass icon next to emails that have been forwarded multiple times. By clicking this button, you will be redirected to the default browser, and the message will be uploaded to that browser. This will allow you to check the authenticity of the message through web results, which may contain articles disguising the message as a forgery.
Announcing the feature in its blog, WhatsApp said: “Providing an easy way to search for messages that have been reposted many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about the content received.”
WhatsApp allows you to check whether the message sent to you has been forwarded via the forwarding label visible at the top of the message. Earlier this year, WhatsApp also set a limit on how many times a message can be forwarded. According to the company’s blog post, this is done to maintain the privacy of WhatsApp. The search network function has been used for several months.
WhatsApp said that through Search the Web, users will be able to upload forwarded messages in their browsers, but WhatApp will not see the messages themselves. Currently, the “Search Network” is being launched in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, for users who have the latest version of WhatsApp on Android, iPhone and WhatsApp Web.
In March, WhatsApp received a robot program from the World Health Organization (WHO) that provided users with the latest information about the coronavirus pandemic and dispelled myths about it. In India, the central government also launched the MyGov Corona service desk at about the same time to raise awareness and provide health experts with information about COVID-19.
In 2020, will WhatsApp gain the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed it on Orbital, a weekly technical podcast, you can subscribe via Apple Podcast or RSS, download the episode or click the play button below.