FILE PHOTO: A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustration

CAPE TOWN - WhatsApp is looking for help from researchers to solve the problem of fake news on its platform.

The company is offering a set of competitive awards to researchers interested in exploring issues related to misinformation on WhatsApp.

“The WhatsApp Research Awards will provide funding for independent research proposals that are designed to be shared with WhatsApp and Facebook,” said WhatsApp.

Grants of up to $50,000 (R 677 005.00) are available to researchers whose proposals are approved, according to a report by Mashable. 

The WhatsApp Research Awards follows a warning from the Indian government about the abuse of WhatsApp.

“Instances of lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because a large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp,” it said.

It added that these concerns have been shared with WhatsApp’s management, and that “they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent proliferation of these fake messages”.

Since last year, Business Report has discovered and reported on over 10 scams that have taken place.

Scams such as the Addidas giving away free shoes, British Airways giving away free tickets, Pick n Pay and more.

So until the problem is sorted out remember to always check a company website or official social media page to see if a competition or promotion is real.

Facebook also has online safety tips that people can see to help them be safe while on the internet.

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