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WhatsApp now allows users to search the web to verify claims made in forwards

WhatsApp's new 'search the web' feature | Source: WhatsApp Blog

WhatsApp now allows users in a handful of markets — but not India — to verify claims made in forwarded messages on the platform, the company announced on August 3. The feature, called ‘search the web’, will add a magnifying glass icon next to “messages that have been forwarded many times”. The icon will appear next to messages that have been forwarded at least five times, according to TechCrunch. We have reached out to WhatsApp for more details. The feature was rolled out in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US, on August 3, the Facebook-owned company said in the statement. It is unclear when and whether feature will be rolled out in India, where WhatsApp has more users than any other market. WhatsApp said that this feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself. It isn’t clear if only forwarded messages which contain a link will get the magnifying glass icon next to it. According to a screenshot shared by the company, a false forwarded message about a cure for COVID-19 had the magnifying lens next to it, which when used, opened articles from fact checking organisations and the WHO. [caption id="attachment_219375" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] WhatsApp's new 'search the web' feature | Source: WhatsApp Blog[/caption] When we tried forwarding a false message in a controlled manner more than five times, for test purposes, we didn't see the magnifying lens next to it, but WhatsApp showed a notification saying that…

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