The Facebook-owned messaging giant-WhatsApp has come out with an information Hub in wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whatsapp in partnership with WHO, UNICEF and UNDP have launched this web-based information hub where all the necessary information such as guidelines, precautions, tips etc are given.
The site also lets is users know regarding connectivity through the messaging app via text, calls or video calls so that physical contact is avoided. The site encourages users to only believe information that is circulated from a reputable source such as the WHO and to not believe or spread rumours that might cause widespread panic and the circulation of misinformation.
WhatsApp has widely been used as a medium of spreading rumours and misinformation around the globe. Users are advised to fact check the information before forwarding it.Fact-checkers are a great way to ensure the reliability of the information. The site also has a section where they advise on how you can reach out to your healthcare professionals remotely, how educators can continue the teaching process remotely, how NGOs and local governments can stay in touch with their communities and how local businesses can continue to survive.
All of these activities need to either remote or be carried out with the least physical contact. WhatsApp is working with the WHO and UNICEF to provide messaging hotlines for people around the world. These hotlines will provide reliable information and will be listed on the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub.
WhatsApp has also vouched for $1 Million grant Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). The $1 million grant will help in fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which spans more than 100 local organizations in at least 45 countries.