In its first such attempt to fight the menace of fake news, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp published a full-page advertisement on Tuesday in some newspapers in India to fight against the spread of misinformation.
The ad comes almost a week after WhatsApp wrote to the Union Ministry of Information and Technology, saying the company was horrified by terrible acts of violence referring to the cases of lynching prompted by the spread of fake news.
In the advertisement, the messaging app listed 10 points for its users to go through to tackle misinformation. The company ad says, “Together we can fight false information.”
In the coming days, the advertisement will also feature in regional language newspapers.
Cautioning its users about fake news, the ad shared things to keep in mind at the time of receiving and sharing the messages. It urged the users to be careful and double check the facts before sharing a post.
A WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement, “We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours. Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. We will build on these efforts.”
WhatsApp will soon roll out a new feature that will allow users to know when a message received is just a forward, rather than one created by the sender.