In response to the warning given by the Government of India, WhatsApp declared that there would “soon” be a launch of a new feature which can highlight forwarded texts. The company assured that it is working aggressively to bar such fake messages through the new feature which will support new label, safety ads and police interface.
“We have been testing a new label in India that highlights when a message has been forwarded versus composed by the sender. This could serve as an important signal for recipients to think twice before forwarding messages because it lets a user know if content they received was written by the person they know or a potential rumour from someone else”, WhatsApp told the government. The company added, “We believe that false news, misinformation and the spread of hoaxes are issues best tackled collectively: by government, civil society and technology companies working together”.
WhatsApp explained its position to the central government that how it is “working to improve” its platform so that it cannot be used for such malicious activities again.
“We do have the ability to prevent spam, which includes some of the misinformation that can create mistrust and potentially violence. Because we cannot see the content of messages being sent over WhatsApp we block messages based on user reports and by the manner in which they are sent,” the company told the Centre.
“We use machine learning to identify accounts sending a high volume of messages and we are constantly working to improve our ability to stop unwanted automated messages.”
“We added new protections to prevent people from adding others back into groups which they had left — a form of misuse we think it is important to correct… we launched a new setting that enables administrators to decide who gets to send messages within individual groups,” the company said, adding that this would help reduce the spread of unwanted messages into important group conversations as well as the forwarding of hoaxes and other content, The Hindu reports.