#StayHome: WhatsApp, WHO Announce Official Coronavirus Helpline, Aims to Reduce Misinformation

WhatsApp testing in-app search feature to fight misinformation around coronavirus

WhatsApp is reportedly testing a feature that will allow users to search WhatsApp forwards on the web in order to ascertain their authenticity and filter fake information forwarded on the platform. One person creates a message to suit his vested interest and later that message circulates as a fact. The World Health Organization (WHO) also has announced a global WhatsApp bot to dispel some common myths about the illness as well as answer frequently asked COVID-19 related questions.

WhatsApp confirmed the development of the new tool, but without providing clarity on release. According to Mumbai Mirror, WhatsApp will let users check the contents of the message for suspected factual inaccuracies.

So how will the feature work? It is implemented in the form of a search icon that appears next to sent messages - this is often spread in messenger fakes. WhatsApp has now begun rolling out the upgrade dubbed "Search Message On The Web".

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When a forwarded message is received by a user, the app displays a tiny search icon next to it. However, if you are looking for a specific file type then choose the desired category and then search the keyword.

The feature is still under development and not available even in beta versions. This will hopefully make it easier for people to determine the reliability of a message, and to think twice before mindlessly forwarding it on. WhatsApp informed media outlets that the feature will be rolled out soon to empower all users. The helpline, which can be accessed by sending a text to +41-79-893-1892, is an automated chatbot-based service that is being launched with the primary intention of helping people find an authentic, official helpline for coronavirus-related information on what is the world's most used communications platform. A lot of misinformation about the disease is shared on a daily basis on the internet.

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