Last year, Facebook ran ads in the UK with tips on how to spot fake news. That came a month after legislators in that country grilled a top executive in parliament about the company’s practices. Now, Facebook is running a similar ad campaign in India, under the branding of WhatsApp, the messaging service it owns. This time around, the multilingual campaign comes after a back-and-forth with the IT Ministry. The government warned the company that it should use the “appropriate technology” to stop the spread of fake news that often led to people being lynched.
The company responded last week that it was working with civil society to fact-check news and raise awareness on spreading rumours. It also said that it would be marking all forwarded messages with a distinct label.
‘Forwarded’ label goes global
WhatsApp started testing a ‘Forwarded’ label for messages that have been sent from a different chat in March. That feature is now available on iOS and Android globally. It’s unclear if the label will be on the KaiOS version of the app, which will roll out to 25 million JioPhones this August. WhatsApp told the government that this label alone is an important part of undermining the credibility of fake news.