Being the most used and most reached out messaging app used by pretty much everyone, Whatsapp has been struggling with a major issue – the spread of fake news and rumours. After a huge list of fake news spread on the messaging platform, Whatsapp has announced a reward of $50,000 to researchers who will come up with a way to tackle the spread of fake news.
With millions and millions of daily active users around the world, Whatsapp has become the most used and most popular internet-based messaging application ever. Perhaps, with such fame comes bigger problems and a great responsibility to serve people with legitimacy. Lately, especially in India, Whatsapp has become a platform to spread rumours, misinformation and fake news – which has even led to uncountable incidents of mob violence and lynchings in India. In the wake of recent lynching and killing of 5 people due to misinformation spread on Whatsapp, is looking forward to work with social media experts from India and other nations that have a mass of regular users of Whatsapp.
With an aim to improve and update the app more and more and create ways for the users to differentiate between real and fake news, Whatsapp has a introduced a new research programme called WhatsApp Research Awards for Social Science and Misinformation. Under this programme, Facebook-owned messenger will provide financial support to the independent research proposals which assure to give a method to analyse data with respect to the circulation of misinformation. All individual researchers will serve as an entire community of social media researchers to survey, study, analyze the data regarding the issue and find a way out.
The researches who will find the solution will be rewarded with an allowance of $50,000 and researchers will also be invited to to attend two workshops related to the app’s functioning. The messaging giant will also encourage the researchers to share their work with their fellow researchers in order to create a safe and secure platform for millions of its users.