WhatsApp has launched an integrated safety campaign ‘Check the Facts’ in an effort to drive user awareness around WhatsApp’s safety features and promote digital best practices that help prevent the spread of misinformation on the platform and empower people to take control of their messaging experience.
The month-long campaign highlights WhatsApp’s in-built product features and safety tools like block and report, forward labels that equip users to spot misinformation and prevent its spread further, and encourages people to verify information that sounds suspicious or inaccurate via fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp Channels.
Understand when a message is forwarded
WhatsApp has created a label for all forwarded messages and limits the number of times you can forward messages as a way to encourage users to reconsider before sharing. Paying careful attention to messages with 'forward labels' also helps slow down the spread of rumours, viral messages, and fake news. For example, if a message has a double arrow icon and is labelled 'forwarded many times' it can only be forwarded to one chat at a time. If a message has a 'forwarded label' users can forward it to up to five chats and only one group at a time.
Block and report suspicious accounts
WhatsApp provides a simple way for users to block accounts and make reports to WhatsApp if they encounter problematic messages, including those spreading misinformation. If users receive a message from an unknown sender, WhatsApp provides users the option to block them, with additional details such as groups in common, along with safety tools if they need to take action.
Follow the fact-checking organization on WhatsApp Channels for accurate information
WhatsApp encourages users to double-check information that sounds suspicious or inaccurate – this is key to preventing the spread of misinformation. The app has partnered with 10 independent fact-checking organizations that help users to verify information in 13 languages. People can follow dedicated fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp Channels to receive verified and accurate updates.