WhatsApp is reportedly testing a new feature Suspicious Link Detection that helps users detects suspicious links and spam posts circulating on WhatsApp.
After a series of unfortunate incidents in India over the spread of misinformation, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp is testing a new feature to resolve the problem on its platform which has over 1 billion active monthly users. The feature was first spotted by WABetaInfo in the beta version 2.18.204 of WhatsApp for Android users. According to the blog post, the feature will help users in identifying suspicious links (both sent and received) by automatically detecting whether the URL leads to a fake/malicious website or not.
The app will immediately flag the spam posts in red colour. The link will come with a warning that reads, “This link contains usual characters. It may be trying to appear as another site.” And in case the user still wants to open it, WhatsApp once again sends a notification about the malicious nature of the app and reconfirming it if the user wants to proceed it anyways. The good thing is the app analyzes the link “locally” which means WhatsApp does not transmit any data to server ensuring that company takes care of the encryption of the messages.
The feature is under the development stage and is part of 2.18.204 beta version on Google Play Store. However, there are no words from WhatsApp about the official release of the feature.
WhatsApp came under scrutiny after it was discovered that over a dozen of people got killed in a mob violence across five states of India due to the misinformation spread via the online platform during the course of last two months. Washington Post claims that among the total number 8 were killed during the last week.