To counter Coronavirus related fake news that is spreading through WhatsApp, the company has listed seven firms that they have partnered with. These include NewsMobile, AltNews, Boom, AFP, Factly, India Today and Times News Check, among a list of 18 organisations listed under IFCN’s fact-checking network.
Along with this, WhatsApp has announced that it is pledging $1million to combat disinformation related to the Coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made on Wednesday, in which they stated that the amount will be granted to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
In addition, the statement also said that WhatsApp has 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 guidelines supported by the Hub, will be distributed by the UNDP, to those coordinating efforts locally. Apart from this, 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.
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.
“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.