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WhatsApp update: WHO, Indian govt join platform to tackle coronavirus misinformation

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WhatsApp has joined the fight against COVID-19 global pandemic and they have made a number of big announcements and important partnerships with the Indian government and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Information Hub

WhatsApp had earlier announced that they will put into place a new information hub in partnership with the WHO, UNICEF, and UNDP. This hub aims at providing credible information about the global pandemic and will also have resources where people can be connected in order for details.

The social messaging app has also developed a dedicated page for fact checkers from all across the world. As far as India is concerned, the company has joined hands with Alt News, India Today, and Alt News among others to debunk any sort of false information.

The company has already donated $1 million to the Poynter Institute’s international fact-checking network in order to clamp down on misinformation on coronavirus.

WHO on WhatsApp

WhatsApp in partnership with WHO has launched “WHO Health Alert” for users. This will allow users to learn more about the coronavirus and related information such as latest numbers, mythbusters, travel advice, among several other things.

As of now, the service is only available in English. However, the company has also planned to roll out the service in multiple other languages which include Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

MyGov Corona Helpdesk

The Indian government has launched its own “MyGov Corona Helpdesk.” Just save 9013151515 on WhatsApp in order to get started with the automated response on queries. One can start by dropping a message “Hi.” Now, you have to choose between the given options to get the information you’re looking for.

Access to credible sources of information is critical to battling Coronavirus and is our top priority. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Health and MyGov on this initiative. We encourage users across the country to depend on verified sources for any information during this period” said Abhijit Bose, Head of India for WhatsApp in release.

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