WhatsApp offers tips to spot fake news after India murders

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In the wake of ever-increasing incidents of fake news being shared through social media, WhatsApp has come up with a new feature to spare users from malicious messages.

In response, WhatsApp had informed the government that fake news, misinformation and hoaxes can be checked by the government, civil society and technology companies "working together".

Group admins can make a decision and even limit other users from sending messages in a specific group.

We will keep you updated, as receive more information about Whatsapp's anti-fake news and anti-spam initiatives. It urged the users to be careful and double check the facts before sharing a post. "If you are not sure of the source or concerned that the information may be untrue, think twice before sharing", it said, adding that accompanying links seemingly of well-known websites should also be scoured for unusual characters and spelling mistakes to establish authenticity. "Just because a message is share many times, does not make it true".

The Assam Police is now mulling into legal provisions to enforce stricter rules to check the circulation of fake news and spam messages on the popular messaging app, WhatsApp.

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The spate of lynchings started in May a year ago in eastern India after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the killing of six men. One of its major initiatives kicked off today, in the form of an ad campaign in national newspapers in various languages, that lists a number of steps people can take to battle misinformation. "We will build on these efforts", outlines the news advertisement.

Most recently a mob surrounded and killed five men in Maharashtra state denounced as child kidnappers, a pernicious rumor blamed for similar murders in at least 11 Indian states.

Lastly, there is the feature where if you received a WhatsApp message, you can find out if it was sent by the sender or forwarded from someone else.

A stern statement issued by the electronics and IT ministry late on Tuesday expressed the government's "deep disapproval" to the senior management of WhatsApp over the "irresponsible and explosive messages".

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