WhatsApp New Mobile Helpline: Launched to Curb Fake News Ahead of the General Elections: In order to check the authenticity of messages shared on the most widespread Private messaging service “WhatsApp”, the company has recently launched a new mobile helpline. This is considered to be one of the latest attempt by the company to control the spread of misleading rumours ahead of the general elections which is going to begin from 11th April 2019. In India only, WhatsApp has more than 230 million active users on monthly basis. Short Best Love Status for Whatsapp
To curb fake news in poll season, WhatsApp starts ‘tipline’
The company owned by Facebook on Tuesday said that it has been recently working with an Indian media startup, Proto, in order to check whether the information shared by the user is true, false, deceptive, disputed or out of scope.
The company in one of its statements said, “Starting today, people in India can submit uncertain information or rumours they have received to the checkpoint tipline on WhatsApp. When a WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, Proto’s verification center will seek to respond and inform the user if the claim made in message shared is verified or not”.
Not only this but also Proto’s verification center is going to help to make a database of rumours to study misleading information all throughout the elections. The messages or rumors received will be reviewed by the center. It can be in the form of pictures, video links or text and is going to cover four major regional languages such as Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam, also comprising English.
A WhatsApp spokesperson said, “If it is a known rumour, the user will get a quick response. If it is a new rumour, it will take some time for the verification center to determine if it can be verified.” He further added by saying that so far the company did not share information on the number of queries received.
Proto’s founders Ritvvij Parrikh and Nasr ul Hadi said, “The goal of this project is to study the misinformation phenomenon at scale — natively in WhatsApp. As more data flows in, we will be able to identify the most susceptible or affected issues, locations, languages, regions, and more.”
WhatsApp launches fake news helpline in India to fight election misinformation
In India where millions of people uses this messaging platform has created the center of controversy since last year after false messages started spreading on its platform and has sparked various mob lynchings.
In the month of February, WhatsApp has warned that political parties are not using the platform in the correct manner in the way that it was accepted and warned them that if it is required it will ban accounts in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Carl Woog who is the head of communications at WhatsApp, said during a media briefing in New Delhi that, “We have seen a number of (political) parties attempt to use WhatsApp in ways that was not intended and our firm message to them is using it in that way will result in bans,”
In the month of February WhatsApp has also released a white paper which is named as “Stopping abuse: How WhatsApp fights bulk messaging and automated behavior” and said that its main concern is to fight automatic behavior on the service. Internationally, the company has removed more than 2 million accounts a month for the past three, on account of greater part or automated behavior. It has a worldwide user base of 1.5 billion. Last July, WhatsApp presented a label to detect forwarded messages and at some degree reduced the use of these forwarded messages to up to five chats in India.
Lawyer and author of Privacy 3.0 Rahul Matthan said, “Most people don’t know how to check the accuracy of a popular rumour doing the rounds on WhatsApp. This is a good measure because it provides a service which can be helpful in the case of popular rumours”.