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WhatsApp Partners With DEF To Train Community Leaders in Order To Tackle Fake News

The teams will also cover key states such as, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura and Jharkhand by March 2019, the statement said

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WhatsApp working on fingerprint authentication for chats: Report. Pixabay

Aiming to address the challenge of misinformation during the upcomimg Rajasthan Assembly polls, WhatsApp on Monday conducted training for community leaders here, in partnership with the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), the Facebook-owned mobile messaging platform said.

The education workshop encouraged WhatsApp users to see themselves as “agents of change” by addressing socio-behavioural change and empowered them to spot false news.

The training will also enable them to differentiate between rumours and opinions; shared subsequent steps to tackle instances of false news and tips to stay safe on WhatsApp.

“WhatsApp is proud to have played a part in helping millions of people in Rajasthan to freely connect with their loved ones anywhere in the world. These trainings are a key part of our strategy to help people stay safe and limit the spread of harmful rumours this election season” said Ben Supple, Public Policy Manager, WhatsApp, in a statement.

The curriculum further delved into how users can contact fact-checking organisations like Altnews and Boom Live to accurately verify information when they are in doubt.

The training was attended by over 100 participants including from local government administrations, law enforcement authorities, college students, NGOs and community leaders who are dedicated to the technological empowerment of their society, especially villages and semi-urban centre.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

“While the problem of misinformation is not restricted to rural areas alone, it is the rural population that majorly lacks access to alternative news sources for sake of verification,” said Osama Manzar, Founder and Director, DEF.

“We see education as the only solution to this problem, and we know that when we teach them some basic verification techniques, they’re going to tell at least two other people about it, creating a ripple effect and potentially fighting misinformation.”

Additionally, WhatsApp and DEF will organise workshops as a part of their Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC), where they will conduct training sessions targeted at grassroots communities in rural areas across five states in India, the company said.

In August, WhatsApp was asked by the central government to take steps to stop the spread of disinformation on its platform.

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WhatsApp roped in New Delhi-based non-profit DEF and initiated a series of educational workshops in 10 key election states including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.

The teams will also cover key states such as, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura and Jharkhand by March 2019, the statement said. (IANS)

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WhatsApp Working on Feature to Bar Users From Taking Screenshots of Their Private Conversations

Details about the roll-out of the feature remains unknown

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Facebook-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp is testing an ‘Authentication’ feature which would bar users from taking screenshots of their private conversations.

The new feature comes as part of a plethora of security changes that the app has been working on and introducing, keeping in line with the app’s commitment to user-privacy, web portal Independent reported on Tuesday.

The screenshot-blocking feature would be made available to users whenever WhatsApp plans to release the ‘Authentication’ feature, which is currently under development.

Before accessing into the app, the ‘Authentication’ feature would ask users to confirm their identities via their fingerprints, WABetaInfo reported.

On enabling the feature, even after confirming their identities, users would not be able to take a screenshot of their chats.

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FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

“Fingerprint Security: When enabled, fingerprint is required to open WhatsApp and conversation screenshots are blocked. You can still reply to messages from notifications and answer calls if WhatsApp is locked,” a screenshot of the beta version of the ‘Authentication’ feature reads.

Information surfacing about this upcoming feature has left users in a state of confusion.

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“I don’t get it. What’s the point. How’s this useful. You’ve authenticated fingerprint security, that means your chat is secured. Why blocking screenshot, after all its your own chat, its your own WhatsApp, you should be able to do what you want,” a user replied on WABeta’s tweet informing users about the feature.

Details about the roll-out of the feature remains unknown. (IANS)