In the ongoing battle against COVID-19 — a new coronavirus disease — awareness is undoubtedly our biggest weapon. Thanks to social media, we can reach millions of people in a matter of seconds, for better or worse.
Most of us are more than aware of the positive impact of social media. Hence, we’re taking the time to talk about the biggest pitfall of such services — untamed distribution of baseless rumors.
Why it’s important to filter fake news?
COVID-19 is one of the biggest threats the world has ever faced. So, it’s not unnatural for us to panic, or pay heed to every unsettling bit of news we come across. However, unless we’re getting the news from a reputable source or the concerned authorities, we must learn to take it with a bit of salt.
These fake news-distributing websites aim to generate more traffic by exploiting our state of vulnerability and paranoia. And once we step into the trap, we unknowingly take the role of the carrier and infect more and more people. It’s not the easiest of tasks, but in these troubling times, we must remain vigilant and try to filter out everything that might mislead the masses.
WhatsApp to the rescue
The leading cross-platform messaging app, WhatsApp, has come up with a feature, which should filter out most of the fake news and stories.
Whenever a popular message is forwarded to you, WhatsApp will show a new search icon right adjacent to it. Tap on it, and a Google search would show up for any heavily-forwarded text. Check the top results to see whether any reported outlet picked up the news or not and discard the malicious pieces.
It is to be noted that the server-side feature is still rolling out. So, it could take a while before you get it on your device. If you’re in a hurry, try downloading WhatsApp 2.20.96 beta from APK Mirror. WhatsApp is expected to make the feature available for images and videos in due time.
Note: The search button will not be available for every forwarded message. Only is WhatsApp thinks that a message is very popular, will it begin to show the search button on the right of the message, image or video.
So, if you see a Search button on the right side of a message or media file, you can use it to verify the authenticity of the message.
Step 1: Tap the Search button (as shown in the screenshot below).
Step 2: Tap the Search Web option. This will search for the message’s content on Google.
Step 3: Browser through the results to determine the news on the content in the message. If there is not much news available on this from trustable sources, then it is probably fake.
Let us know how it helped you.