WhatsApp users will now think twice before hitting the forward button as a new feature that labels unoriginal texts has been launched.
The new feature is characterised by the word ‘forwarded’ on top of any message that is shared.
WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, launched the forwards label in India on Tuesday, weeks after the government told it to use technology to fight fake news and misinformation.
“This extra context will help make one on one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote a message or if it came from someone else. To see this new forwarded label, you need to have the latest version of WhatsApp,” a statement stated.
In response to the government’s directive, WhatsApp considered the use of machine learning techniques to identify unwanted and harmful information.
The Economic Times reported that WhatsApp also released full-page advertisements in national dailies in India to educate people on fake news.
The ET said that rumours on WhatsApp have resulted in the deaths of about 31 people in 10 states in the last year.
Reuters reported that India asked WhatsApp to take steps to prevent the circulation of false texts and provocative content that have led to a series of lynchings and mob beatings across the country in the past few months.