WhatsApp pledges $1 million to combat coronavirus fake news

    WhatsApp also said that its grant to IFCN will support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which spans more than 100 local organisations in at least 45 countries.

    By: AMRITA MADHUKALYA
    | Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 20:01 IST
    WhatsApp has also launched a Coronavirus Information Hub
    WhatsApp has also launched a Coronavirus Information Hub (REUTERS)
    WhatsApp has also launched a Coronavirus Information Hub
    WhatsApp has also launched a Coronavirus Information Hub (REUTERS)

    WhatsApp has announced Wednesday that it is pledging $1million to combat disinformation related to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The amount, the social media platform said in a statement, will be granted to the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

    Additionally, WhatsApp has also launched a Coronavirus Information Hub to provide "simple, actionable guidance for health workers, educators, community leaders, nonprofits, local governments and local businesses that rely on WhatsApp to communicate," the company said in a statement.

    The guidelines supported by the Hub will be distributed by the UNDP to those coordinating efforts locally, and WhatsApp has also partnered with WHO and UNICEF to provide messaging hotlines across the world. "These hotlines will provide reliable information and will be listed on the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub," said the statement.

    ALSO READ: Facebook, Microsoft, Google team up against coronavirus misinformation

    In its information hub, WhatsApp has listed seven firms to counter fake news, including AltNews, Boom, AFP, Factly, India Today, Newsmobile and Times News Check, among a list of 18 organisations listed under IFCN's fact-checking network.

    WhatsApp also said that its grant to IFCN will support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which spans more than 100 local organisations in at least 45 countries.

    ALSO READ: Google removes coronavirus misinformation on Search, YouTube

    "We know that our users are reaching out on WhatsApp more than ever at this time of crisis, whether it's to friends and loved ones, doctors to patients, or teachers to students. We wanted to provide a simple resource that can help connect people at this time. We will also continue to work directly with health ministries around the world for them to provide updates right within WhatsApp," said Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp in the statement.

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    First Published Date: 18 Mar, 16:20 IST
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