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WhatsApp university endangered with Search the Web: Here’s how it stops fake news

WhatsApp has baked in a Search the Web feature for all forwarded messages on WhatsApp. The search will happen via Google and WhatsApp will upload the message to Google.

  • Updated: August 4, 2020 5:22 PM IST
WhatsApp

Have you heard of WhatsApp university? It’s a sarcastic take on the infinite number of groups that share fake news to all their members. Hence, you might have seen your family members or friends sharing web links of dubious websites or articles. Well, WhatsApp has come up with another great way to curb fake news. Starting today, members can now directly search forwarded messages via Google search to find its authenticity. Also Read - How to download and install Raksha Bandhan WhatsApp stickers easily

In a recent blog post, WhatsApp reached out regarding its new Search the Web feature. WhatsApp has been long fighting dissemination of fake news on its platform and its latest attempt is rather novel. Starting today, users can now upload a forwarded message to Google and search for its authenticity on the web. The search results will bring up all the relevant articles on the web. Also Read - WhatsApp not authorized to go live with UPI full scale operations, RBI tells Supreme Court

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This way, users will be able to check the authenticity of a forwarded message directly without leaving the app. This brings in multiple benefits to the user as well as WhatsApp. For the latter, it is a great way to reduce the distribution of fake news via its groups. For users, they can easily cross-check the information and then decide whether to share it or delete it. Also Read - WhatsApp: How to share more than 100MB files?

WhatsApp Search the Web: How it works

In order to use the Search the Web feature, users will need to update to the latest version of WhatsApp. Once the update happens, they will see mild UI changes in the chats window.

Step 1:

Whenever you get a forwarded message on a group or your personal chat window, WhatsApp will show a magnifying glass icon next to that message.

Step 2:

Users will have to tap on the magnifying glass icon to perform the Search the Web functionality. After this, the app notifies that the message will be uploaded to Google for performing the search.

Step 3:

Once you tap on OK, WhatsApp will search the contents of the message in your browser using Google search. The search will show all relevant articles related to the message.

Step 4:

Since the messages are encrypted, WhatsApp cannot see the content of the message.

When is it coming to India?

WhatsApp is currently rolling out the feature is select countries such as Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the US. The feature will be available for users of both Android and iOS devices. India is yet to get the feature and WhatsApp hasn’t said anything about a local release. That said, the blog has a Hindi version of the text, which means it could be a few weeks before the update comes to us.

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  • Published Date: August 4, 2020 5:18 PM IST
  • Updated Date: August 4, 2020 5:22 PM IST



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