Representational image
Representational image

The novel coronavirus outbreak has become a rather harrowing time for all. Will over 600,000 cases having been registered so far, the situation is rather grim.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, WhatsApp users have been dealing with a barrage of misinformation and fake news that adds to the chaos, creating panic and confusion with their wild claims. Many even attribute their incorrect information to legitimate sources in an effort to be credible.

Unfortunately, countless people are taken in by these forwards, merrily passing them on to their friends and family or even to complete strangers on their contact list in order to spread 'awareness'.

The irony is not lost on us.

The issue is not limited to the coronavirus pandemic alone, even though that appears to be the primary casualty at this time.

However, there may soon be a solution available. According to a WABetaInfo report, the company is working on a 'search messages on the web' option that will allow you to check information immediately.

According to the report, WhatsApp is testing the feature and it is still under development. The report did not give a specific date as to when the feature might be available.

According to WABetaInfo, the feature has been spotted in the latest beta version, that is 2.20.94. WhatsApp, the report adds, is working to introduce some parts of this feature, pertaining to frequently forwarded messages.

Once released, users will see a magnifying glass icon next to a forwarded message. Once you click on this, the app asks you if you want to search for the information on Google. Reportedly, WhatsApp has also been working on a similar feature for images.

The news was also confirmed by the company itself. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that they were working on such features that would help users amass more information when they receive a message.

"This feature is currently in testing, and we look forward to rolling it out in the near future,” the publication quoted the spokesperson to add.

In the meantime, here are some already available WhatsApp features that can help you expose fake news:

1. When yo receive a forwarded message, there will be an arrow mark on the message to indicate that the person who sent the message is not the original source.

2. Messages which have been forwarded many times are marked with two arrows to indicate that they have been forwarded repeatedly and has been floating around for quite some time now.

3. You can now tap on a message and press the 'Info' option to see how many times a message has been forwarded.

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