The statement states, "WhatsApp is commissioning a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring issues that are related to misinformation on WhatsApp". The company is testing a feature in India to highlight a forwarded message as well as it is deploying machine learning techniques to identify malicious content. "We believe this is a challenge that requires government, civil society and technology companies to work together", WhatsApp said in the letter sent to the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
WhatsApp also reminded its users that fake news "often" goes viral and just because "a message is shared many times, does not make it true". The company has suggested looking for other sources of the same information, leaving groups to control what you read, questioning information that may upset you among other tips. "If you are not sure of the source or concerned that the information may be untrue, think twice before sharing", it said, adding that accompanying links seemingly of well-known websites should also be scoured for unusual characters and spelling mistakes to establish authenticity.
A rash of deadly lynchings in India has a popular messaging app taking aim at fake news.
Following 29 deaths in India, that were attributed by some to WhatsApp fake news, parent company Facebook has created a way to help avoid bad link sharing in the future.
The messaging service, owned by Facebook, took out full-page ads in leading English and Hindi newspapers on Tuesday, giving readers 10 tips to spot messages that might be fake.
"Do not pay attention to the number of times you receive the message", it reads.
As such any link is still private to the person who received it and the one who sent it.
WhatsApp said it was "horrified" by the violence and promised swift action but Indian authorities have accused the social media giant of acting irresponsibly in its largest market.
In the latest occurrence, five people were lynched by a mob in Maharashtra on the suspicion of being child kidnappers.
In the light of these events, it is reported that WhatsApp will bring a feature that will help users determine if a message has been forwarded or it has been typed by the sender.
Indian Govt. has already told Whatsapp that they will need to find ways to stop the spread of fake news, which is claiming innocent lives.