WhatsApp is a useful app but some people use it for sharing fake news stories. People are polluting WhatsApp by sharing phishing links, annoying videos, etc. Unfortunately, WhatsApp doesn’t provide an option to report fake stories or disturbing videos.
The top video sharing and social networking portals take strict action on users sharing fake news or inappropriate content. For example, if you post a hate message on FB or share a disturbing clip on YouTube, your account will be banned. Earlier this year, Twitter banned over 100K accounts that were trying to spread hatred.
WhatsApp allows you to create groups where members can share hyperlinks, videos, messages, etc. Over a billion messages are shared on WhatsApp every day. One to one communication between friends is genuine and short, but the groups may have fake and irrelevant messages. A group may have 100s of messages.
Below, we’ve shared the worst news fake stories that went viral this year on WhatsApp.
Worst Fake WhatsApp news of 2017
Demonetization of 100 and 50 Rs notes
Yesterday, one of the members of a group shared an edited image of a video broadcasted on a popular news channel. The video was about the PM’s announcement of demonization of 1000 and 500 Rs notes. I tuned into the news channel. Unfortunately, the news turned out to be a fake one. After observing the image closely, I learned that the last digit of the numbers was erased deliberately.
In April/May 2017, people began sharing an image of a grossly infected palm in WhatsApp groups. Along with the photo, people were sharing this message “A rare insect had bitten the hand. The infection spreads when you come in contact with the insect”. People are still circulating the message and the picture, but the message is not viral anymore. News channels have put an end to the fake news by proving that image was photoshopped.
Combiflam is a popular pain killer manufactured by Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical firm. 1000s of people take it every day to get rid of body pain. Doctors prescribe Combiflam to patients after major or minor surgeries. Recently, a news broke on WhatsApp claiming that Sanofi has recalled a batch of its flagship medicine. The news was fake and it became viral only on WhatsApp.
Meteor shower (Night without darkness)
Earlier this month, the news claiming that there will be no night on August 12 spread like a wild fire on WhatsApp. Some people believed the news and didn’t go to the bed on the 11th of August. Even though the dark clouds covered most of the cities, it was pitch dark during the night of August 11.
WhatsApp is a great platform to send and receive messages. It has cut down the mobile usage charges of users by allowing us to send free text messages, make free video calls, etc. If you’re using this app, don’t promote fake stories or share disturbing content. If you find such message or clip, take its screenshot, download the video or image, carry the evidence to a nearby police station and register a complaint.