Facebook-owned messaging and Voice over IP service WhatsApp has apparently made it to the headlines for the launch of two major initiatives, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. First up, the service, in partnership with the UNICEF, UNDP, and the World Health Organization, has launched the global WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub. In addition, it has also donated an amount of USD 1 million to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), Poynter Institute.
As per sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub has been launched at ‘whatsapp.com/coronavirus’ and has been designed to deliver simple but actionable advice for educators, local businesses, health workers, non-profits, community leaders, and local governments depending on WhatsApp for communication. Generic tips and resources for global users in order to reduce the frequency of unnecessary spreading of rumors and access to accurate health information are also provided on the site.
WhatsApp’s contribution of USD 1 million to the IFCN is intended at accurate checking of facts for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance. This alliance is spread across more than 100 local organizations in close to 45 nations. Since the past year, WhatsApp has worked tirelessly bring together, more than a dozen fact-checking organizations within its umbrella, so that they can all crowdsource and report on rumors which may be going around on myriad messaging services – including simple messaging services or even WhatsApp.
The grant amount will also endorse the training programs required for using the advanced features in the WhatsApp Business – inclusive of the WhatsApp Business API. As these IFCN certified fact-checking firms expand their presence, local communities will grow more aware and respond accordingly to potential harmful rumors.
Will Cathcart, Head, WhatsApp, has been quoted to state that the firm is aware of how much users are reaching out on WhatsApp now, more than ever before, to communicate with friends, doctors, patients, and loved ones. In this scenario, WhatsApp aims to deliver a simplified resource to help people connect, Cathcart added.
Source Credits: https://www.whatsapp.com/coronavirus/stories