Instant messaging platform WhatsApp on Friday launched a new “check it before you share it” education campaign, expanding its efforts to reduce spread of misinformation on its platform amid COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign acts as a simple reminder that it is the responsibility of everyone to double check the facts before forwarding messages to flatten the misinformation curve, WhatsApp said. Also Read - WhatsApp in 2020: How social messaging app evolved amidst pandemic
It tries to inculcate behavior that urges users to gain more information about the messages they receive through any of the many ways, like reaching out to the MyGov helpline to receive crucial updates or searching the web. Also Read - WhatsApp Pay won't launch in India without compliance
“This campaign helps convey our collective responsibility and the need to always verify before sharing information,” Shivnath Thukral, India Head of Public Policy for WhatsApp, said in a statement. Also Read - WhatsApp ने कोरोनावायरस से जुड़ी फेस न्यूज से निपटने के लिए शुरू की ये सर्विस
WhatsApp announced the MyGov helpline (+919013151515) last month. To promote the MyGov helpline, the WhatsApp campaign conveys the precautionary measures that people should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 like to cough in elbows, stay home, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and to keep social distancing.
People will be able to see these ads on Facebook and Instagram, and message the helpline with just one tap, WhatsApp said. In a bid to curb misinformation related to COVID-19, WhatsApp, which has 400 million users in India, last month said it would limit frequently forwarding messages to 1 chat at a time.
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WhatsApp has faced scrutiny as rumours spread on the platform have been linked to several mob killings in India. The instant messaging platform, however, said that 90 percent of messages sent are between two people and it has seen a significant increase in the amount of voice and video calling across India during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Written with agency inputs