Facebook has joined forces with eight independent fact-checking entities, covering 11 languages to identify fake information in India. "We are deeply committed to being an ally for India as the country fights the coronavirus outbreak and addresses extraordinary challenges on both the healthcare and economic," Facebook India Managing Director Ajit Mohan said.
Facebook recently launched a $1 million grant program in partnership with the International Fact-Checking Network amid coronavirus pandemic. In a blogpost, Facebook Inc said, "We've given grants to 13 fact-checking organisations around the world to support projects in Italy, Spain, Colombia, India, the Republic of Congo, and other nations".
Newschecker is one of the fact-checking organisations that will work with Facebook in India. The social media platform has donated $50,000 for "Chat/Voice-based Dissemination of Information" project. According to Poynter, Newschecker will build a Google Assistant Voice Action and an Alexa Skill in both English and Hindi languages that will address symptoms, precautions that should be taken and inform users about the nearest health center providing COVID-19 tests. They will debunk viral misinformation and work together on WhatsApp.
Moreover, the social media giant will also give training to local governments and health organisations on designing impactful campaigns with special focus on coronavirus.
According to Mohan, Facebook team along with fact-checkers have trained the Union Health Ministry, state units of the National Health Mission, state governments of Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Odisha, so far.
In India, the company is running a coronavirus information centre on Facebook and a WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub. WhatsApp also has partnerships with the Centre and state governments. Facebook Messenger has a partnership with MyGov India and Health Ministry.