WhatsApp announced on Wednesday, March 18 two initiatives to support the global fight against the coronavirus epidemic: the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub, created in partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNDP, and a donation US $1 million to the International Fact Verification Network (IFCN) of the Poynter Institute.
Information Hub shows how the app’s features can assist healthcare professionals, educators and community leaders. $1 million donation will help fight fake news
The coronavirus WhatsApp information Hub contains simple and useful guidelines for health professionals, educators, community leaders, non-profit organizations, governments, and local businesses. The site also offers a number of tips and resources for users around the world in order to reduce the spread of rumors and make official health information available.
So far, WhatsApp has worked with several ministries of health and national NGOs to provide factual information to users via text in countries like Singapore, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia. As these efforts continue, the hub’s resources will be updated.
WhatsApp’s $1 million grant to IFCN will directly support fact verification from the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which covers more than 100 local organizations in at least 45 countries. Over the past year, WhatsApp has worked on integrating with fact-checking organizations, so they can report on rumors that may be circulating on various messaging services, including WhatsApp or SMS.
The money will support training to use the advanced features of WhatsApp Business, including the WhatsApp Business API. Expanding the presence of these IFCN certified fact-checking organizations will help ensure that local communities are aware of and dispel possible harmful rumors.
According to Will Cathcart, WhatsApp CEO “we are pleased to partner with the Poynter Institute to help increase the number of fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp and support their life-saving work to dispel rumors. We will also continue to work directly with ministries of health around the world to provide updates on WhatsApp. “The donation made by WhatsApp will help the checks published by the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance to reach a wider audience and, consequently, help people separate facts from fiction during this avalanche of information that WHO called ‘ infodemic ‘,” said Baybars Orsek, Director of IFCN.