Whatsapp launches Coronavirus Information Hub to help fight fake information

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 20 Mar 2020
HIGHLIGHTS

WhatsApp has launched a Coronavirus Information Hub in an effort to help curb the spread of misinformation on its platform

It will also launch a hotline that would give people information about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

The platform has also donated $1 Million to the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)

Whatsapp launches Coronavirus Information Hub to help fight fake information
Whatsapp launches Coronavirus Information Hub to help fight fake information

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It seems like fake news and WhatsApp go together as well as a Batman & Robin goes with George Clooney’s career. The two will always be connected, no matter how much the latter tries to wash their hands off the connection. However, to be fair, WhatsApp has been doing its bit to help curb the spread fo misinformation on its platform. It’s latest move is made to combat the spread of fake news and information of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform has announced that it is working with WHO and UNICEF to provide a hotline where people can message to get information about the ongoing pandemic. It will also list information on the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub, which can be accessed here. It should be noted that while the Hub is ready, the hotline will be ready to use in a bit.

“Getting up to date information about COVID-19 to local communities around the world is a critical piece of the international community’s efforts to stem the spread of the virus,” said Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said in a statement. “Partnerships with private sector companies like WhatsApp will help get this vital, real-time information from the World Health Organization and local health officials to billions of users around the globe.”   

Further, WhatsApp has donated $1 Million to the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). This grant will to the IFCN will support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance that space over 100 local organisations in at least 45 countries. The press release by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) states that WhatsApp has been working with over a dozen fact-checking organisations to bring their services directly into the messaging service. This will allow them to crowdsource and report on rumours that may be circulating. The grant will support the training of the use of advanced features within WhatsApp Business, including WhatsApp business API. 

WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook has also announced that it has committed to match $20 million in donations to match relief efforts for the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg stated that the social media platform was committing $10 million for the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and an additional $10 million for the CDC Foundation. Facebook also plans to award $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 small businesses in around 30 countries to address COVID-19th economic impact.

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