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The Facebook-owned messaging service has introduced a fact-checking feature that allows users to cross-examine the content and credibility of viral messages.

The new feature is aimed at filtering out fake news and misinformation across the platform.

Tech expert Bryan Turner says WhatsApp will allow users to perform a Google search on forwarded messages.

A magnifying glass icon will appear next to messages forwarded to five or more people. Users will be able to cross-examine the information by tapping on the icon.

According to a statement, the feature is currently being rolled out in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the US.

In South Africa, WhatsApp plans to partner with fact-checking organisation Africa Check, Turner explains.

WhatsApp is a very sensitive space... they had to approach it very carefully.

Bryan Turner, Data analyst - World Wide Worx

Users can look up [the credibility of] a forwarded message they've been sent if it's been forwarded more than five times.

Bryan Turner, Data analyst - World Wide Worx

It will direct the user to a Google search on that topic that was mentioned in the message.

Bryan Turner, Data analyst - World Wide Worx

Facebook has recently come under fire for not fact-checking information.

Bryan Turner, Data analyst - World Wide Worx

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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : New WhatsApp feature to help users sniff out fake news from forwarded messages

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