WhatsApp is testing an image search tool to fight fake news


The messaging service, WhatsApp, is working on a feature that’ll allow users to do reverse-image searches. This will hopefully help combat fake news — something WhatsApp has struggled with in the recent past.

It appears that trusty WABetaInfo discovered the ‘search by image’ function that will let you upload an image received from a dodgy (or not-so-dodgy, like your mother who’s prone to forward spammy things) contact directly to Google. Then you’ll have the capability to do a search and find similar images — or exactly the same ones — on the internet.

India, for example, was seriously affected by malicious message forwarding recently, which led to WhatsApp imposing anti-forwarding limits, as well as forwarding notifications.

The main aim of this feature is for users to have the capability to research something if it looks kinda fishy. And this will allow users to more accurately gauge whether images are authentic, or fabricated.

Unfortunately, you won’t find the feature in WhatsApp just yet, as it’s just been seen in the code for the upcoming update — but that means we’ll likely see it relatively soon. 

This should be a rather useful tool in WhatsApp’s toolbox in its efforts to reduce the spreading of misinformation that’s so prevalent these days. At least it’s a step towards giving people the capability to do their own research, instead of standing back and blaming the users. Nice one Mr Zuckerberg

Source: WABetaInfo


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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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