In regular times, social media is crucial in helping us stay in touch with relatives and catch up on some news. Its role has been massively amplified these days, as the world faces one of the biggest challenges we've seen in recent times. But you need to keep in mind that not everything you see online is right, and not everyone knows that fact. WhatsApp understands the role it plays in information propagation and is adding two features to keep everyone properly educated and help them spot wrong stories and facts.
The first addition is the ability to chat with the World Health Organization (WHO). Simply click this link to start a WhatsApp conversation. Everything is automated with numbers in lieu of menus, but there's enough there to get the latest pandemic numbers, read tips about protecting yourself, see answers to the most common questions, check some mythbusters, read the news, and more.
Chat with the World Health Organization to get the latest info.
The second one is still rolling out: A new search icon appears next to forwarded texts (it should also show up for images and videos later), but it's not yet live for everyone just yet. It lets you start a Google search for any heavily-forwarded text message. Depending on the message's content, this should help you spot fake article titles or articles, see if the text was posted somewhere reputable or not, and even do a quick fact check.
Search forwarded text messages on the web.
The WHO chat works on any version of WhatsApp, as for the search icon, you may need to be on a newer release to see it, and even then, it's a server-side switch. To raise your chances, make sure you're on the latest WhatsApp 2.20.96 beta (APK Mirror) or grab it from the Play Store.