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WhatsApp spotted testing a reverse image search feature to tackle fake news


In a bid to fight fake news, WhatsApp appears to be working on a new ‘image search’ feature that will enable users to verify the source of an image shared over a group or personal chat.

The feature won’t be appearing right away but as per WABetaInfo, the Facebook-owned messaging app is currently testing this new feature on its WhatsApp Beta build version 2.19.73 for Android. As noted in a blog post, the new feature appears to use Google’s reverse image search feature to track the source of the image.

Representational image.

Though spotted in a beta version of WhatsApp, the new feature is still not available for public testing which means that users on the beta track will not be able to test the feature out yet.

The image is said to appear in the extended three-dot menu on receiving an image on WhatsApp. A new ‘Search Image’ option appears, tapping on which runs the reverse image search function through Google.

Image: WABetaInfo

With WhatsApp being under the government’s strict eyes ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the introduction of the feature could be instrumental in the company’s fight against fake news. However, it remains to be seen how soon WhatsApp announces the feature, given the fact that there’s very little time before the elections get underway.

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