WhatsApp has long been on the radar of law enforcement authorities for facilitating the spread of misinformation via its platform, something that is easily accomplished via mass forwarded messages. In a bid to combat the spread of misleading information and allow users to check the veracity of a forwarded message, WhatsApp has introduced a web search tool.
Users will now see a magnifying glass icon alongside a forwarded message. Tapping on it copies the message text and performs a quick web search in the default browser on their phone. Once there, users can read and find out if the information shared in the forwarded message is true or if it is just a hoax.
WhatsApp says that the message is uploaded directly on the browser and that the company doesn’t see its content. The new web search feature in WhatsApp is now rolling out for users in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK and the US. It is available on the WhatsApp app for Android and iOS, as well as the desktop client.