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Home / Tech / WhatsApp this week: WHO, Indian govt join platform to tackle coronavirus misinformation

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

Stay updated and informed about Coronavirus from credible sources on WhatsApp. Key things to know about WhatsApp’s recent initiatives on COVID-19.

tech Updated: Mar 22, 2020 18:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
WhatsApp, the world’s biggest messaging app introduced new efforts to tackle misinformation on coronavirus.
WhatsApp, the world’s biggest messaging app introduced new efforts to tackle misinformation on coronavirus.(REUTERS)

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

Information Hub

WhatsApp earlier this week announced a new information hub in partnership with the WHO, UNICEF, and UNDP. The hub provides credible information about the global pandemic and has resources where people can reach out for more details.

WhatsApp has also developed a dedicated page for fact checkers from different parts of the world. In India, the company has tied up with Alt News, India Today, and Alt News among others.

Facebook-owned company has also donated $1 million to the Poynter Institute’s international fact-checking network to help curb misinformation on coronavirus.

WHO on WhatsApp

WHO in partnership with WhatsApp launched “WHO Health Alert” for users. The interactive bot allows users to learn more about the coronavirus and related information such as latest numbers, mythbusters, travel advice, and share among others.

The service is currently available in English language only. The company plans to launch in more languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

MyGov Corona Helpdesk

On the lines of WHO Health Alert, the Indian government has launched “MyGov Corona Helpdesk.” Just save 9013151515 on WhatsApp to get started with the automated response on queries. You can begin with dropping a message “Hi.” Choose between the given options to get the information you’re looking for.

The interactive WhatsApp bot has been developed by Mumbai-based firm Haptik, also a subsidiary of Reliance Jio.

“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.