It is a fact. WhatsApp has become one of the main channels of spreading lies, fake news or fake news. Whatever you prefer to call them. Both Facebook and WhatsApp serve to spread hoaxes, and although many are easy to unmask, sometimes they can strain you.
For combat diffusion From fake news, WhatsApp has been making changes to how its messaging app works for a long time. For starters, he put limits on the option of forwarding messages with links to avoid spreading lies in a matter of seconds.
It has recently introduced a new tool so that you can verify news that you receive through WhatsApp from the application itself on your Android or iPhone.
Search the internet for the news you receive
In previous articles I have talked about how anyone is able to unmask false news or verify news that you find on your social networks, either Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram.
But if WhatsApp makes it easy for us, much better. And this is the case of the new function that it has included in your conversations. For now it is available in Brazil, Spain, the United States, Italy, Ireland, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Also, it works both in WhatsApp Web like in WhatsApp for Android or iOS.
Its operation is simple. If you have the most recent versions of WhatsApp, when you receive a link to a news item or internet article, to the right of the message you will see the symbol of a magnifying glass. At the moment it will appear in forwarded links, which are already indicated by the symbol of Forwarded.
If you click on the magnifying glass, WhatsApp will ask you if you want to search the internet for that link. Clicking on Search the Internet, a new window will open in your browser showing results related to the link you received. So you can check the veracity yourself of the news you receive.
Check news for WhatsApp
It said that WhatsApp has been implementing improvements to its messaging application to combat hoaxes and false news. Another of these measures, in addition to those mentioned above, has consisted of allying with fact-checking organizations, non-profit institutions, sometimes, that are dedicated to check news that have had a lot of impact.
The result is an International Data Verification Network (IFCN) that helps WhatsApp eliminate fake news links. According to the public list of WhatsApp, among these organizations that verify news are . Factual (Spain and Latin America), . Verifica, Maldita and Newtral in Spain, La Silla Vacía and ColombiaCheck in Colombia, Ecuador Chequea (Ecuador) or Verificador de La República (Peru).
One of the most striking cases this year related to news verification in Spain it was the one that affected the false news spread by VOX.
Alternatives to check the news
The new WhatsApp tool will be very useful, since it is integrated into the conversation itself. You get a link forwarded, click on the magnifying glass and in your web browser you will see if the news is false or has really been published by other means.
All in all, you may prefer to make a more effective search to find the truth and check WhatsApp news.
One solution is to go to the Google search engine. Not the default search engine, but your search engine specialized in news. Is called Google Fact Check Explorer, works in multiple languages, including English and Spanish, and displays the most relevant verifications from professional verifiers such as those mentioned above: ColombiaCheck, Newtral, Animal Político, . Factual …
Another possibility is to manually consult these verifiers in search of the news you want to check. They are easy to find on the internet and they usually integrate search engine. The process is slower but you will ensure that the news you receive is true or, at least, true.
Finally, if you search for news on the internet and you follow the search for the expression “fact check”, you will get results of articles or links that confirm or deny news that has gone viral. It works in any search engine.
And what about images?
We have talked about the news links, but the lies and hoaxes also arrive through images and photographs. And lately, videos too.
As for images, not long ago I talked about how to detect fake WhatsApp photos. There are basically three different methods. Choose the one you like best.
First method. The reverse search. Look for that image that you have received on the internet to verify that it is true or that it corresponds to what they tell you it is. And it is that, frequently, photographs are disseminated associating them to a place and a moment which turn out not to be correct. You can use Tinye or go to search engines like Google or Bing, which have reverse search.
The second method of discovering fake or decontextualized photos is to check if it has been retouched. There are a multitude of desktop and online tools for this. And finally, you can see the metadata of an image with specialized tools and see when the photograph was taken, with which camera or with which application it has been edited.
The article Avoid hoaxes: how to verify suspiciously false news sent to you by WhatsApp was published in Hypertext.