WhatsApp on Wednesday announced two initiatives to break the flow of misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic which has spread to 150 countries and has claimed 11,423 lives.
WhatsApp has announced a $1 million donation to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network and a partnership with UNICEF, World Health Organization, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub.
The WhatsApp hub will have information about health workers, educators, and others, on how they can use WhatsApp for Business to connect with users. The hub will also help provide directions to deal with various aspects of the outbreak.
According to the company, the information hub will offer general tips and resources for users to reduce the spread of rumours and connect with accurate health information.
The hub will have articles from trusted sources about relief efforts etc.
WhatsApp has been a leading source for the spread of misinformation around the outbreak. Various links, audio notes, videos, and posts have been shared about the disease on the platform and most of which are fake.
The instant messaging app is not the only social platform making efforts to curb misinformation around the COVID-19 outbreak. Recently Facebook also announced that it would proactively remove fake news related to COVID-19.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube issued a joint statement about “closely working together” to stem the flow of misinformation on the internet. Google has also altered search by emphasizing trusted sources when users make queries related to the infection.