WhatsApp is using old media to tackle its misinformation problem in India.
The messaging service, owned by Facebook (FB), took out full-page ads in leading English and Hindi newspapers on Tuesday, giving readers 10 tips to spot messages that might be fake.
The ads are part of a campaign by WhatsApp in its biggest market following a spate of lynchings that have been blamed on hoaxes sent over the platform.
A spokesperson told CNNMoney that the company would translate the ads to run in local newspapers in nine Indian states, many of which speak different languages.
WhatsApp’s tips include checking with other sources, looking up photos online that may be edited, and thinking twice before forwarding a message you have doubts about.
“Fake news often goes viral” reads one. “Just because a message is shared many times does not make it true.”
WhatsApp is fighting fake rumors on its platform through full-page ads in major Indian newspapers. Photo Credit: RISHI IYENGAR/CNNMONEY
WhatsApp, which has more than 200 million users in India, is also rolling out several new features to stop the spread of fake rumors.
One of those features — a service WhatsApp has been testing in India to label forwarded messages — was launched globally on Tuesday. It shows when a message has been forwarded rather than composed by the sender.
Other big tech firms around the world are also trying to combat misinformation, including Facebook.