Telegram launches a verification program for channels and groups
@VerifyBot will award verification badges
Coronavirus stickers also added
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Popular message broadcasting service Telegram has added a bunch of new tools and features in an attempt to curb the spread of misinformation around the Coronavirus. With more health ministries and media publications using Telegram to connect with people to broadcast the latest news, announcements and tips, the company believes that these new features will help users separate trustworthy sources from those peddling fake news.
The Indian government, amongst many others, is a part of a growing list of countries offering a Telegram channel with live news updates and other relevant information around the Coronavirus outbreak. The government also has a WhatsApp bot for information around the virus that was announced just weeks back and a Coronavirus Tracker called Aarogya Setu.
Telegram has kicked-off its verification process that will help users make out reliable news sources for real-time information on the Coronavirus outbreak. To this effect, the company has prepped a verification bot (@VerifyBot) that will award you a verification badge for a particular channel or group.
Interestingly, if you already have a verified account on any of the social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the bot will automatically award the badge to your channel.
“Information is the most powerful weapon in the fight for global health – at least until we get a vaccine. To do our part, we've been sending notifications to all users in countries that have official channels with updates about the virus, offering them to join,” the company said in a blogpost.
To help it’s users stay up to date with the latest information on the fight against the Coronavirus, the company has an official Coronavirus Info channel on Telegram with a list of Health Ministry channels of various countries.
Telegram has also added a bunch of new Coronavirus stickers to its app to “raise awareness” and “maintain digital hygiene”. From fashionably designed masks to COVID-19 virus cells, there are a lot of new stickers for users to apply on any pictures using the app’s photo editor, if you're into such things.
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