Facebook Inc's messaging platform WhatsApp has taken the bull of fake news by its horns through public information ads in leading Indian dailies. These ads detail some easy tips for its users to help them judge for themselves whether any message they receive through this medium is genuine or fake.
Apart from the ads, WhatsApp has also introduced a new feature that lets the user see which messages are coming from the sender directly and which are being forwarded. The ad advises users to double check facts when they are not sure about who is the author of the forwarded message.
Understand when a message is forwarded:
Starting this week, we're rolling out a new feature that lets you see which messages have been forwarded. Double check the facts when you're not sure who wrote the original message.
Question information that upsets you:
If you read something that makes you angry or afraid ask whether it was shared to make you feel that way. And if the answer is yes, think twice before sharing it again.
Check the information that seems unbelievable:
Stories that seem hard to believe are often untrue so check elsewhere to see if they are really true.
Look out for messages that look different:
Many messages containing hoaxes or fake news have spellings mistakes. Look for these signs so you can check if the information is accurate.
Check photos in messages carefully:
It is easier to believe photos and videos, but even these can be edited to mislead you. Sometimes the photo is real, but the story around it is not. So look online to see where the photos came from.
And check links too:
It may look like the link to a well-known website but if there are spelling mistakes or unusual characters, it's usually a sign something's wrong.
Use other sources:
Look at other news websites or apps to see if the story is being reported elsewhere. When a story is reported in multiple places, it's more likely to be true.
Be thoughtful about what you share:
If you are not sure of the source or concerned that the information may be untrue, think twice before sharing.
You can control what you see:
On WhatsApp, you can block any number or leave any group you want. Use these features to keep control of your WhatsApp experience.
Fake news often goes viral:
Do not pay attention to the number of times you receive the message. Just because a message is shared many times, does not mean it true.
In this direction, for the first time, Facebook and Gaon Connection come together to make rural citizens aware of fake news and about online safety through 'Mobile Chaupal' — an ambitious campaign across audio, video, ground activation, print and survey platforms. Fake News is one of the most urgent issues in the media landscape. It has caused hostility and even death.