As the 140 countries across the globe are striving hard to Coronavirus pandemic, WhatsApp too is joined the race by launching Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Unicef, UNDP and Poynter Institute’s International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). The Facebook-owned instant messaging app has also announced a $1million grant to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
Asserting that the users are reaching out on WhatsApp more than ever at this time of crisis, Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp, said, “We are also pleased to partner with the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute to help grow the amount of fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp and to support their life-saving work to debunk rumours. We will also continue to work directly with health ministries around the world for them to provide updates right within WhatsApp.”
It must be noted that the grant will be used to support the journalism of the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus alliance, the collaborative project that was launched by the IFCN in January and now includes more than 100 fact-checkers in 45 countries.
“The timely donation from WhatsApp will help the fact checks published by the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance reach a wider audience and help people sort fact from fiction during this avalanche of information that WHO called an ‘infodemic,” said Baybars Orsek, the director of the IFCN.
WhatsApp has urged its users to share information responsibly at this need of hour. The instant messaging app has come out with some ways to help you connect with those who matter most. It has asked the users to connect remotely by using WhatsApp features, like groups, voice, and video calls and provide support to loved ones even though you might not be able to be in the same place.
Secondly, WhatsApp has asked the users to turn to reliable sources like the World Health Organization or your national health ministry in order to get the latest information and guidelines about Coronavirus pandemic.
Third and the most important point that WhatsApp has shared is prevention of rumours related to Coronavirus. One has to realize that not everything you are sent about coronavirus may be accurate. Verify the facts with other trusted official sources or fact checkers, and refrain from forwarding it if you aren’t sure something’s true, as per the blog on WhatsApp.