WhatsApp continues to intensify the fight against Fake news, this time by setting its sights on visual misinformation.
The Facebook-owned messaging application is currently testing a new “search image” feature that allows users to easily upload an image that is on their platform to Google, according to WABetaInfo. The image tool was discovered in the latest beta of WhatsApp for Android.
With the touch of a button, WhatsApp will send a photo from your application to the search giant. The messaging application will then direct users to a Google search results page that displays “similar or similar images” elsewhere on the web.
This information can help users to discover if an image is real or has been photoshoped or even know the background of an unaltered photo that has been removed from its context.
With more than one billion active users, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform in the world. This makes it a primary target for false news. In India, where the application is hugely popular, the erroneous information that has spread on WhatsApp has even become deadly.
WhatsApp has taken measures over the last year to stop the false news problems of the platform. The company developed an initiative to fund research focused on stopping misinformation about the service. A new role was created within the company to specifically assume false news in India.
The messaging application itself has been the subject of numerous updates to help combat the spread of false news. WhatsApp has implemented new administrative controls for groups, imposed limits on the forwarding of messages and proactively bans millions of bot and spam accounts each month.
With the new “search image” feature that is currently in beta, WhatsApp is now trying to address the fake news that is spread through the photo.