WhatsApp is engaged on a serious new characteristic to sort out the unfold of misinformation on its service. The Fb-owned chat app is internally testing a brand new possibility that will enable a consumer to shortly confirm the legitimacy of photos they’ve obtained on WhatsApp by checking if they’d ever appeared on the internet earlier than.
A reference of this characteristic was first spotted by WABetaInfo, a developer that has gained notoriety for revealing future WhatsApp product plans by combing by means of the app’s code. VentureBeat understands the corporate is certainly internally testing the characteristic, though a WhatsApp spokesperson declined to remark.
The unnamed characteristic depends on Google’s reverse image search function to let WhatsApp customers add a picture and discover the place it has appeared on the internet. It is a intelligent answer by WhatsApp, which protects all messages and media content material on its platform with end-to-end encryption. Whereas massively helpful to finish customers, utilizing encryption additionally considerably curtails WhatsApp’s capability to scan the content material of messages and media on its platform.
In rising markets, customers are exhibiting a growing appetite for sharing info by means of photos. In locations like India, WhatsApp’s largest market and the place the service is grappling with the spread of false information, the characteristic might doubtlessly assist many customers shortly confirm info and get extra context concerning the picture they’ve obtained.
The probably imminent characteristic comes as WhatsApp has been introducing varied safeguards on the platform. The corporate has enforced a limit on the number of messages WhatsApp customers can ahead, and run various educational campaigns to induce tens of thousands and thousands of first-time customers to be extra cautious concerning the messages they share with their family and friends. Final month, WhatsApp mentioned its system was banning 2 million fake or abusive accounts each month — a lot of that with out counting on reporting from customers.
The developer additionally shared a picture that exhibits an in-app browser on WhatsApp’s Android app. The developer instructed VentureBeat that the in-app browser was presently restricted to Android eight.1 and up. Moreover, like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, WhatsApp’s in-app browser makes use of Google’s Safe Web Browsing service, which warns customers after they try to go to a web site that has been identified to unfold malware and different dangerous content material.