Truecaller has announced the launch of its instant messaging (IM) platform ‘Truecaller Chat’. With the aim to make communication safer to prevent fake news from circulating, the IM platform will allow users to report links, ensuring that fake news is not circulated unchecked by users.
With social media’s rapid adoption across the country, fake news in neighbouring Kenya has been on the rise. Truecaller has helped erode spam calls faced by users through Caller ID and also strengthened SMS inboxes by filtering unwanted messages.
As a step to curb the spread of erroneous information, Truecaller, with the help from its community, has launched this service as a shield against viral messages sent on its instant messaging platform. Users will be able to mark website links as spam if they suspect it to have incorrect information, which will then help chatters make a more informed decision about what information is false. With time, Truecaller also plans to apply machine learning and use the aggregated spam reports to predict any upcoming viral trends.
Additionally, ‘Truecaller Chat’ is bundled with interesting features such as, auto-switch between SMS and Chat, which will help users keep conversations in one place. Other features include full media support and more that will provide its users a polished and enjoyable experience.
Commenting on the launch, Zakaria Hersi, Director of partnerships, Sub Saharan Africa at Truecaller, said, “As a one-stop communication platform, our IM service will help our users connect and also collaborate to combat the issue of spam. We’re confident that this foundation stone will help build a strong spam-free community.”
This comes on the back of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta signing into law the Computer and Cybercrime Bill, 2018. Under the new law, a person who intentionally publishes false, misleading or fictitious data or misinforms with intent that the data shall be considered or acted upon as authentic, with or without any financial gain, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding KES 5 million (US$49,539) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.