At the moment Facebook-owned chatting app WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform across the globe and also the most likely target for spreading myths as well as fake news. Right now in a country like India many myths, as well as fake news, have gone viral through the social media platform. After so many efforts this trend of spreading fake messages about coronavirus is on a rise in the country as well as across the globe. To combat this issue the company has now taken a step to fast check the information being spread through their app.
These days false and dangerous news about the coronavirus is spreading widely on WhatsApp at lightning speed. Several fake news, videos as well as recordings have been spreading related to the deadly disease which is responsible for creating panic among people. Health experts, as well as the Government, have issued warnings against the use of DIY hand sanitizers, drugs, and natural remedies being recommended to treat coronavirus-like symptoms. In fact, India is amongst the most likely target to be hit by a wave of fake rumours. Now before trying these remedies or panicking to misinformations, you can now verify these messages before forwarding these to your contacts.
The main agenda of all messaging applications or social media apps is to stay connected with your loved ones. In its blog, post-WhatsApp said, “Think about the messages that you receive, because not everything you are sent about coronavirus may be accurate. Verify the facts with other trusted official sources or fact checkers. If you aren’t sure something’s true, don’t forward it.”
The Facebook-owned social media network urged its users to verify the facts before you forward it to the ones that matter to you the most with trusted official sources such as WHO or your national health ministry or through fast checkers. The company has also created an information hub that is going to provide a trusted source through which the users can verify information about coronavirus. WhatsApp has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and UNDP to provide real-time information about the disease. The messaging app has now launched The WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hubhealth for the people seeking information, guidance for health workers, educators NGOs, local governments as well as businesses.
Separately, WhatsApp has also invested a $1 million grant in Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to put a stop on the rumour mills from spreading misinformation about the virus.
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