July 10: With fake news turning out to be the biggest bane in recent times, Facebook-owned social messaging platform WhatsApp has jumped into the ring to dispel the menace. WhatsApp has brought out advertisements in major newspapers in India to try and put a halt to the spread of misinformation.
It was recently reported that lynchings had happened on the basis of fake information being spread on WhatsApp, and that had created a public furore. With the authorities stepping in to quell such spread of fake info and demanding immediate action, WhatsApp has come out with a big call to the general public asking them to join hands to help stop misinformation campaigns. India, incidentally, is WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users.
The ads on newspaper pages blurted out thus: “Together we can fight false information. ” Today’s ads are said to be the first of a series of more to come. Though the ads that came out today are in English language newspapers, it is being reported that WhatsApp might take the campaign to regional newspapers as well.
According to a report that quoted a WhatsApp official, the platform is set to begin an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours. The ads that have come out may be seen as the first step in this regard.