How to fact check fake news on WhatsApp

How to fact check fake news on WhatsApp
The Whatsapp logo and binary cyber codes are seen in this illustration taken November 26, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms out there and has over 2 billion monthly active users. While it is helpful in staying connected with friends and family, it is also being used to spread fake news and rumors.

In 2018, 29 people were killed in India by mobs after fake messages about alleged child-lifting gangs were shared on WhatsApp. Apart from these, political rumors and fake news aimed at inciting religious violence is quite common.

Fake news about Delhi violence

After the Delhi violence, there have been reports about fake news being spread on WhatsApp. Special Cell of the Delhi Police took to Twitter to warn users about the fake news being spread on social media platforms.

How to identify fake news on WhatsApp

Images and videos

When you receive an image or a video that mentions a particular incident, use Google to check if there has been any such incident. Most of the fake news is spread using edited photos and videos.

Look for the ‘Forwarded’ tag

WhatsApp has started adding a ‘Forwarded’ tag to messages that forwarded from one user to another user more than five times. While you cannot see the number of times the message has been forwarded, you can see a double arrow icon above the message.

How to fact check fake news on WhatsApp

Do note that the ‘Forwarded’ tag does not necessarily mean that the message is false. This tag is added to all messages that are shared multiple times.

If you suspect that a message you have received is spreading fake news, you can use a fact checking service to check whether the news is correct or not.

Here are two Fact Checking services that allow you to share the message on WhatsApp for verification.

  • Boom - +91 7700906588
  • India Today - +91 7370007000
How to fact check fake news on WhatsApp

You can save the above numbers to your contacts and message them on WhatsApp the fake message for fact checking.

How to fact check fake news on WhatsApp

  • Send the message, image or video that you suspect is spreading fake news.
  • Your request will be sent to the ‘Fact Check Team’.
  • After some time, you will get the result.
  • The report will show whether the message you have shared is true or false.
  • You can also click on the given link to check what the truth is.
See also:

How to fact check fake news on Google

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to join hands to curb fake news in India

Facebook is the most popular social network for governments spreading fake news and propaganda