WhatsApp's new forwarding feature may actually save lives

This is part of WhatsApp's continual battle to fight fake news.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
Currency and Social Media

WhatsApp just announced its new forwarding feature.

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto

WhatsApp is making it easier to tell where your messages are coming from in order to quash fake news. And the ramifications could save lives.

Starting Tuesday, WhatsApp will label which messages you receive have been forwarded to you. The company announced on its blog that the feature is available on the latest version of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp says this helps determine if the message came from your friends or family, or if someone else wrote the message. It also cautions to think twice about sharing messages that were forwarded. Seemingly in an attempt to stop the spread of misinformation.

Watch this: How to spot fake news

Last week five men were lynched in India due to a rumor that they were child kidnappers. The rumor reportedly spread on WhatsApp, leading to the men's deaths.

WhatsApp published full-page ads in Indian newspapers as a PSA for fighting fake news. It mentioned being skeptical of forwarded information.

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Here's how WhatsApp will label forwarded messages.