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'Check the Facts' Campaign by Whatsapp
WhatsApp has taken a proactive stance in the ongoing battle against misinformation with the launch of its month-long ‘Check the Facts‘ safety campaign. As a prominent player in the realm of instant messaging, the Meta-owned platform is dedicated to raising user awareness about the crucial need for digital literacy and safety features to counter the spread of false information.
'Check the Facts' Campaign: To Combat Misinformation & Fake News
The ‘Check the Facts’ initiative serves as an integrated safety campaign aimed at educating users about WhatsApp’s in-built product features and safety tools. These include prominent functionalities like block and report, as well as forward labels that empower users to identify and combat misinformation effectively. WhatsApp emphasizes the importance of verifying suspicious or inaccurate information through fact-checking organizations available on WhatsApp Channels.
The campaign addresses the multifaceted nature of combating misinformation online, acknowledging that no single action can entirely prevent its spread. However, ‘Check the Facts’ serves as a comprehensive guide, offering users practical steps to navigate the digital landscape responsibly.
Forwarded Messages in Whatsapp
One key aspect highlighted by the campaign is the ability to discern forwarded messages. WhatsApp has implemented a distinctive label for all forwarded messages, coupled with restrictions on the number of times a message can be forwarded. By incorporating forward labels, users are encouraged to exercise caution and reconsider before sharing messages, thereby slowing down the propagation of rumors and fake news.
For instance, messages marked with a double arrow icon and labeled as “forwarded many times” can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. On the other hand, messages with a “forwarded label” can be shared with up to five chats and only one group at a time. These measures are designed to curb the rapid dissemination of potentially misleading content.
Block the Account Spreading Misinformation
Another vital aspect emphasized by the campaign is the ease with which users can block and report suspicious accounts. WhatsApp provides users with a straightforward mechanism to block accounts and report messages that may be spreading misinformation. Additional safety tools are available to users who may need to take further actions in securing their messaging experience.
Follow Fact-checking Organizations on WhatsApp Channels
Furthermore, ‘Check the Facts’ encourages users to follow fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp Channels. In the context of India, WhatsApp collaborates with ten independent fact-checking organizations across thirteen languages to assist users in verifying information. Users are urged to subscribe to these fact-checking channels to receive accurate and verified updates, fostering a culture of responsible information consumption.
Some notable fact-checking organizations in India include Boom Fact-Check, Fact Crescendo, Factly, India Today Fact Check, Newschecker, NewsMobile, Webqoof, The Healthy Indian Project, Vishvas News, and NewsMeter FactCheck.