mashable: WhatsApp is continuing to ramp up the fight against fake news, this time setting its sight on visual misinformation.

The Facebook-owned messaging app is currently testing a new “search image” feature that allows users to easily upload an image found on its platform to Google, according to WABetaInfo. The image tool was discovered in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android.

With the tap of a button, WhatsApp will send a photo from within its application to the search giant. The messaging app will then direct users to a Google search results page that shows “similar or equal images” elsewhere on the web.

This information can help users find out if an image is real or has been photoshopped or even learn the background of an unaltered photo thats been stripped of its context.

With more than one billion active users, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform in the world. This makes it a prime target for fake news. In India, where the app is massively popular, misinformation that has spread on WhatsApp has even turned deadly.

WhatsApp has taken steps over the past year to curb the platform’s fake news problems. The company developed an initiative to fund research focused on stopping misinformation on the service. A new role was created within the company to specifically take on fake news in India.

The messaging application itself has undergone numerous updates to help combat the spread of fake news. WhatsApp has rolled out new administrative controls for groups, imposed limits on message forwarding, and proactively bans millions of bot and spam accounts each month.

With the new “search image” feature that’s currently in beta, WhatsApp is now looking to tackle fake news that spreads via photo.

Source: Published by mashable

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