With COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the globe, there has been a lot of misinformation campaigns being spreading from user to user. Campaigns from cures to rumored government actions have been gaining traction within the messaging apps.
Facebook has been one of the leading platforms that have been focused on spreading the misinformation due to the vast number of audience it gathers. But, Facebook has been seen taking extensive measures for the same, starting from removing and banning the ad campaigns that focus on making money via COVID-19 fears. This has lead multiple government groups to take severe actions in order to control these. Facebook is now looking for better ways to halt the misinformation spreading through these messaging platforms.
WhatsApp has confirmed this week that it’s going to launch new features that will allow its user to search for additional context on a message with the help of Google search.
Implementing this feature will allow the users to dispel the information, simply by looking at the related things being discussed regarding the news they received in those particular platforms. They will also be able to check if there are other reports that are shared for the same.
This comes tight after WhatApp’s new World Health Organization chatbot, which allows users to search for official information regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. Users will be able to get timely updates regarding the same on the platform itself. This happened since a lot of people have turned to WhatsApp and Messenger for more information regarding updates. Facebook recently revealed that the traffic on WhatsApp and messenger were more than double the usual levels during this pandemic.
Messenger is also among the platforms that saw an increase in misinformation campaigns. Facebook assured that they have been testing a new limit they can set to messages being forwarded to group chats within the messenger. This is similar to how a message is forwarded from one chat to another on WhatsApp. The same was revealed by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, known for revealing upcoming updates and changes to social platforms.
This will allow the platform to restrict the number of users that can mass share the information, in turn limiting the spread of misinformation. This method has proved beneficial on WhatsApp and has been one of the most required changes during these times. This is why it makes sense that Facebook is looking to extend the same feature into its other platforms as well like Messenger.
If you think about it, these steps are necessary, since the potential impact of misinformation being spread amid COVID-19 pandemic can be devastating. Some of the misinformation included things like” Washing your hands is propaganda for soap companies”, Drinking bleach can cure COVID-19″ and much more. This might be a high time when the need for the right information is at its high point, So people can take the right precautionary measure to limit the spread.