If you’ve received a link offering a miracle cure for COVID-19, you should know that it’s fake. And yet, so many users just keep forwarding such messages, perhaps with good intentions, but ultimately adding to the confusion and polluting the internet with false information.
Now, WhatsApp has added a new feature, making it easier to check whether a piece of information is accurate. On forwarded messages, users will see a magnifying glass button. Clicking on it will open a Google search query for this information, which should typically resolve any doubts you might have about its accuracy.
WhatsApp points out that doing this uploads the message to the phone’s browser, without revealing the content of the message to WhatsApp.
The feature is currently rolling out in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the U.S., on Android, iOS, and WhatsApp Web.
,In the past year and a half, WhatsApp has undertaken several measures to stop the proliferation of fake information. In Jan. 2019, it limited the number of chats where a forwarded message can be shared to five (the number was previously 256). And in April this year, the company started marking messages which were forwarded many times with a double arrow, letting the recipient know that it didn’t come from a close contact.