WhatsApp Starts Testing ‘Suspicious Link Detection’ Feature to Limit Spam Circulation: Report

WhatsApp Starts Testing 'Suspicious Link Detection' Feature to Limit Spam Circulation: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • WhatsApp is reportedly testing a Suspicious Link Detection feature
  • The feature helps detect suspicious links
  • It is currently under testing and unavailable even for beta testers

In another move to put a stop to the circulation of spam on its platform, WhatsApp is working on a Suspicious Link Detection feature. The new feature, which is presently said to be under testing, helps users detect suspicious links available within their WhatsApp messages. It is a part of the WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.18.204 and later, though not available for the masses at the initial stage. The latest development hits amidst different measures by the Facebook-owned company to limit the circulation of spam and fake news through the instant messaging app that has over 1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide. A previous WhatsApp beta version brought a ‘Forwarded’ label that was aimed to make a dent in the growth of fake news distribution through the app and help people easily identify forwarded messages.

Leveraging the Suspicious Link Detection feature, WhatsApp analyses the links available in a message to detect a suspicious link, reports WABetaInfo. The messaging app is said to automatically identify whether the link in a received message is redirecting to a fake or alternative website that could potentially harm users. Upon detection of a suspicious link, the message is marked with a Red-coloured label to let users easily understand its behaviour.

The screenshots posted by the WABetaInfo folks highlight that WhatsApp also warns users when they try to open the link with a message that reads, “This link contains unusual characters. It may be trying to appear as another site.” It has also been claimed that WhatsApp analyses the link locally. This suggests that the links will not be sent to WhatsApp servers and the user data won’t be compromised for sake of detecting suspicious links.

whatsapp suspicious link detection wabetainfo WhatsApp

Photo Credit: WABetaInfo

 

We weren’t able to spot the reported Suspicious Link Detection feature on any of our Android devices using the latest WhatsApp beta version 2.18.207. However, since the WABetaInfo team claims that WhatsApp is currently testing the feature, we can expect its arrival at least for WhatsApp beta users sometime in the coming future. It is also reported that with some other improvements, the feature will also get an ability to let users manually report a suspicious link.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp came in the headlines for the massive spread of misinformation that allegedly led to the lynching of a large number of innocents in India. The IT ministry even asked WhatsApp to take preventative actions to restrict the proliferation of fake messages on its platform. The messaging service on its part revealed that it had started taking help from local experts to fight spam and fake news and announced ‘research awards’ for researchers interested in limiting the circulation of misinformative messages in the country. This was a step in addition to the primary moves such as the ‘Forwarded’ label and ‘Send Messages’ group controls to retain WhatsApp’s domination in the market of instant messaging apps. Particularly in India, WhatsApp serves over 200 million monthly active users.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Twitter Says Removal of Fake Accounts Does Not Hurt User Metrics

Twitter Says Removal of Fake Accounts Does Not Hurt User Metrics

Twitter said on Monday it has removed fake accounts but that does not impact its reported user metrics as was indicated in a report by The Washington Post.

The newspaper had said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, leading to a decline of monthly active users in the second quarter.

“Most accounts we remove are not included in our reported metrics as they have not been active on the platform for 30 days or more, or we catch them at sign up and they are never counted,” CFO Ned Segal tweeted on Monday.

“If we removed 70M accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us.”

Shares of Twitter fell 9 percent on Monday after a report said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, which could lead to a decline of monthly active users in the second quarter.

The slump wiped about $3 billion (roughly Rs.20,600 crores) from the microblogging site’s market valuation, which had stood at about $35 billion on Friday. Twitter shares were last down 8.6 percent at $42.62 (roughly Rs. 2,900).

“Such reaction is due likely to the assumption that the lower user count would attract less ad dollars,” Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi said.

Mogharabi, however, pointed to big advertisers now paying more attention to the quality content alongside which their ads are placed.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

WhatsApp Launches Media Blitz to Dispel India’s Fake News Woes

WhatsApp Launches Media Blitz to Dispel India's Fake News Woes

A newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp

Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging platform on Tuesday published advertisements in key Indian newspapers to tackle the spread of misinformation, its first such effort to combat a flurry of fake messages that prompted mob lynchings.

Beatings and deaths triggered by false incendiary messages in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users, caused a public relations nightmare, sparking calls from authorities for immediate action.

“Together we can fight false information,” read full-page advertisements in some top English language-newspapers, part of a series that will also feature in regional-language dailies.

It urged users to check information before sharing it and cautioned them about the spread of fake news.

“We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours,” a WhatsApp spokesman said in a statement.

“Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. We will build on these efforts.”

During the week, it aims to publish similar advertisements in regional dailies across India, from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in the west to the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh in the north, it added.

WhatsApp has previously said it is tweaking features and giving users controls in its effort to rein in false messages.

It is also testing the labelling of messages to show users when a message received is just a forward, rather than one created by the sender.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Unveils Workplace for Good as Free Tool for Non-Profit Organisations

Facebook Unveils Workplace for Good as Free Tool for Non-Profit Organisations

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Workplace Premium costs $3 per user per month
  • Facebook looks to offer Workplace Premium for free to non-profits
  • It has already partnered with organisations like WWF, Unicef, and more

Facebook launched its Workplace by Facebook service two years ago, providing social tools to companies to ease intra-office communication. It is a subscription product, competing mostly with Slack, and charges $3 per user per month. Now, the company has launched something known as Workplace for Good which gives non-profit organizations all the tools of Workplace Premium for free, without any subscription fees.

Through Workplace for Good, Facebook is offering Workplace Premium free to non-profits and staff at educational institutions globally. It has already partnered with organisations like the World Wildlife Fund, Comic Relief, Unicef, Save the Children, RNIB, NRC, It Gets Better, Australian Catholic University and the Miami Dade School District.

“We’re also investing in a dedicated team to grow our efforts in this space, alongside a new online resource center that brings together product information, success stories, and videos to help organizations take the first step,” Annette Gevaert, Head of Workplace for Good-Facebook said in the company’s blog.

Workplace provides tools like live video streaming, group messaging, News Feed announcements, and voice and video calls across desktop and mobile platforms. It also gives access to Workplace and Workchat apps on iOS and Android both. There’s also unlimited file, photo, and video storage, along with integration with other file storage providers. It ensures secure collaboration between companies, and comes with a desktop notifier for Windows devices. The Premium variant has enterprise features like administrative controls to manage your community, monitoring tools for IT team, APIs for custom integrations, integrations with e-discovery and compliance providers, single sign-on (SSO), active Directory support, 1:1 email support for administrators, and integration with G Suite, Okta, and Windows Azure AD.

All organisations that are not non-profits can also use Workplace Premium for free for 90 days, after which the subscription fees will be levied. Anyone who has a Workplace account can ask for Workplace for Good accessibility. To try Workplace Premium for free, head here and to enrol for Workplace for Good, head here.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]