WhatsApp has launched a month-long safety campaign named ‘Check the Facts’ to enhance user awareness regarding the platform’s safety features and promote digital best practices, aiming to curb the spread of misinformation.
The campaign stresses WhatsApp’s built-in safety tools, such as block and report functions and forward labels, empowering users to identify and stop the dissemination of misinformation. Additionally, it encourages individuals to verify suspicious or inaccurate information through fact-checking organisations available on WhatsApp Channels.
While acknowledging the complexity of addressing misinformation, WhatsApp said that the ‘Check the Facts’ campaign serves as a straightforward safety guide in the ongoing battle against fake news and misinformation online.
1. Understand when a message is forwarded
WhatsApp has created a label for all forwarded messages and limits the number of times you can forward messages as a way to encourage users to reconsider before sharing. Paying careful attention to messages with “forward labels” also helps slow down the spread of rumours, viral messages, and fake news.
For example, if a message has a double arrow icon and is labeled “forwarded many times,” it can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. If a message has a “forwarded label” you can forward it to up to five chats and only one group at a time.
2. Block and report suspicious accounts
WhatsApp provides a simple way for users to block accounts and make reports to WhatsApp if they encounter problematic messages, including those spreading misinformation. If you receive a message from an unknown sender, WhatsApp provides users the option to block them, with additional details such as groups in common, along with safety tools if you need to take action.
3. Follow fact-checking organisations on WhatsApp Channels for accurate information
WhatsApp says users can follow double-check information that sounds suspicious or inaccurate – this is key to preventing the spread of misinformation, the statement added.