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WhatsApp Launches Service to Tip off Fake News in India

Following the project, PROTO aims to submit learnings to the International Center for Journalists to help other organisations learn from the design and operations of this project

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WhatsApp has made a series of changes, including labeling forwarded messages to inform users when they have received something not from their immediate contacts. Pixabay

WhatsApp on Tuesday launched a service in India where over 200 million users in the country can tip off fake news, misinformation and rumours related to elections.

Launched by PROTO, a media skilling start-up, the tipline will help create a database of rumours to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint — a research project commissioned by WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned company said in a statement.

People in India can submit misinformation or rumours to the “Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp” at +91-9643-000-888.

Dig Deeper Media and Meedan, who have previously worked on misinformation-related projects around the world, are helping PROTO to develop the verification and research frameworks for India.

“The goal of this project is to study the misinformation phenomenon at scale — natively in WhatsApp,” said PROTO’s founders Ritvvij Parrikh and Nasr ul Hadi.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

When a WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, PROTO’s verification centre will seek to respond and inform the user if the claim made in the message shared is verified or not.

The response will indicate if the information is classified as true, false, misleading, disputed or out of scope and include any other related information that is available.

“The centre can review rumours in the form of pictures, video links or text and will cover four regional languages including Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam, other than English,” said WhatsApp.

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Following the project, PROTO aims to submit learnings to the International Center for Journalists to help other organisations learn from the design and operations of this project.

“The research from this initiative will help create a global benchmark for those wishing to tackle misinformation in their own markets,” said Fergus Bell, Founder and CEO, Dig Deeper Media. (IANS)

Next Story

WhatsApp to Stop Working on Millions of Older Mobile Devices From Next Year

Reports showed outages across Europe and in the US, Mexico and South America

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

WhatsApp will stop working on millions of older mobile devices globally as the company has withdrawn support for such phones.

The users on Windows Phones will be locked out forever after December 31, said Facebook.

“WhatsApp will stop working on millions of phones in the next couple of months as the company withdraws support for some older mobile platforms.

“From February 1, 2020, any iPhone running iOS 8 or older will no longer be supported, along with any Android device running version 2.3.7 or older,” Facebook said.

“Users of these operating systems are already unable to create new WhatsApp accounts or re-verify existing accounts.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“Furthermore, WhatsApp is withdrawing support for all Windows phones from December 31, 2019 — the same month that Microsoft ends support of its Windows 10 Mobile OS,” the social networking platform added.

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Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and aims to integrate the messaging platform into its other services Messenger and Instagram.

Meanwhile, users around the globe were facing trouble in sending or receiving messages on WhatsApp late Tuesday.

Reports showed outages across Europe and in the US, Mexico and South America. (IANS)