WhatsApp has been attempting to flatten the misinformation curve that's on a sharp rise amid the coronavirus crisis. It is now reminding users to compulsorily use the MyGov helpline before sharing a message.
The chat app said that 90 per cent of the messages sent amid the coronavirus are between two people. There has been a significant increase in the amount of voice and video calling as well. As such, WhatsApp is aiming to ensure that people receive accurate and credible information about the pandemic in simple ways. To this end, the messaging platform announced the MyGov helpline (+919013151515). They have now launched a multi-year campaign to tackle rumours with the 'Check it before you share it' campaign.
WhatsApp is urging users to double check facts before forwarding messages through the campaign. It is trying to get users to get more information about a received text before forwarding it to more people. Using MyGov or searching the web is one of the many ways WhatsApp is pushing to achieve this.
"WhatsApp takes the safety of its users very seriously. People across the country are relying on WhatsApp to talk to their loved ones, doctors, teachers and businesses during this challenging time," said Shivnath Thukral, India Head of Public Policy for WhatsApp. Thukral said that the priority of the app is to empower people to directly connect with health officials and government agencies. "This campaign helps convey our collective responsibility and the need to always verify before sharing information," he said.
Abhishek Singh, CEO MyGov and President & CEO of National e-Governance Division said that through partnerships with various stakeholders and institutions, MyGov is making credible information available to all its users. "We can all play a part in flattening the misinformation curve, and it all starts with being mindful of the information we choose to share with our communities and loved ones. Right information about dos and don'ts also helps in driving behavioral change, so very vital in dealing with this pandemic," he said.
WhatsApp is also making several changes on the app to ensure spread of misinformation is curbed.