WhatsApp will now warn you against suspicious links

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The government's warning to WhatsApp comes in the wake of a spate of incidents involving lynching of innocent people because of certain "fake and motivated" messages being circulated on the widely used messaging app.

While instant messaging apps like WhatsApp have completely changed the way we communicate, it has also brought in a wide array of new generation issues.

To activate this feature, however, you need to have the latest supported version of WhatsApp on your phone.

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To counter the spread of fake news, WhatsApp has taken out advertisements in leading newspapers today to fight false information. In recent times, there has been a spurt of mob violence in various parts of India, induced by fake messages passed on through WhatsApp.

Following 29 deaths in India, that were attributed by some to WhatsApp fake news, parent company Facebook has created a way to help avoid bad link sharing in the future.

With the update, forwarded messages will have a small "forwarded" label, similar to forwarded email messages, indicating the note was originally written by someone other than the sender.

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WhatsApp, with over 200 million users in India, has been under enormous pressure to act after a spate of rumours spread through the messaging platform led to multiple killings in India over the last few years. WhatsApp wrote to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology last week and said even though it can't read messages due to end-to-end encryption, the company will take steps to reduce misinformation on its platform.

Previously, WhatsApp announced a new feature that will allow the group administrators to restrict participants from sending messages to the group.

The Suspicious Link Detection feature goes hand in hand with Chrome and Firefox browsers which inform a user they visiting an unsafe link. The false messages that warned parents about child abductors were sometimes accompanied by gruesome videos of child abuse. The company is also offering a $50,000 grant to academics who study the spread of misinformation and help the firm fix it. That could cut down on the recurring hoaxes that fact-checkers often see on the platform.

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