WhatsApp has announced the launch of #YouSaid, a campaign to educate people on how to verify the information they come across before passing it on, to help reduce the spread of false news in Nigeria. The campaign offers tips for WhatsApp users to spot false news and take responsibility in minimizing its spread, by encouraging people to think carefully and check authoritative sources before deciding to share any information with their friends and family.
“At WhatsApp, all personal messages are protected with end-to-end encryption because the safety and security of our users and their messages are important to us,” said WhatsApp Public Policy Lead, Akua Gyekye, while commenting on the launch of the campaign. “While we remain committed to creating a safe space for our users to communicate privately, we encourage everyone to verify any information they receive and confirm whether it is true or false before sharing it with other people. “Regardless of the person you received the information from, as soon as you share any information, it becomes something people think #YouSaid.
We hope that this campaign will open up a conversation on the importance of verifying information and thinking carefully about what people read, trust and choose to share,” Gyekye added. As part of ways to reduce the spread of false news on the platform, WhatsApp said users must understand that “any message that has the ‘forwarded’ label (an arrow or double arrow icon) did not start with the person who sent it to you. They will also have received it from someone else before passing it on to you. If you are not sure the information is true, do not forward it to someone else without verifying it. “A double arrow icon and “Forwarded many times” label will be displayed when a message has been forwarded more than five times since it was originally sent and will restrict sharing to just one chat at a time” it added.