BusinessNews

WhatsApp’s full-page ads to tackle fake news after centre’s warning

WhatsApp has previously said it is tweaking features and giving users controls in its effort to rein in false messages.

Mumbai: Messaging platform WhatsApp on Tuesday published advertisements in key newspapers in the country to tackle the spread of misinformation, its first such effort to combat a flurry of fake messages that prompted mob killings.

Beatings and deaths triggered by false incendiary messages, WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users, caused a public relations nightmare, sparking calls from authorities for immediate action.

“Together we can fight false information,” read full-page advertisements in some top English language-newspapers, part of a series that will also feature in regional-language dailies.

It urged users to check information before sharing it and cautioned them about the spread of fake news.

“We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours,” a WhatsApp spokesman said in a statement.

“Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. We will build on these efforts.”

During the week, it aims to publish similar advertisements in regional dailies across India, from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan to Uttar Pradesh, it added.

WhatsApp has previously said it is tweaking features and giving users controls in its effort to rein in false messages.

It is also testing the labelling of messages to show users when a message received is just a forward, rather than one created by the sender.

RELATED ITEMS:
Show More