Yesterday, WhatsApp unveiled a coronavirus fact-checking hub in partnership with the WHO, UNICEF and the United Nations Growth Programme. That is meant to share the newest information and recommendation associated to COVID-19. The chatbot will go one step additional and let customers ask questions straight. WhatsApp additionally donated $1 million to assist fact-checking organizations.
To obtain updates on #COVID19 from WHO add this quantity— +41 79 893 18 92 to your contacts and ship a @WhatsApp message. You will robotically be registered to obtain updates and now have an choice to ask for extra data as proven under. pic.twitter.com/WXaGd88AGf
— WHO Uganda (@WHOUganda) March 20, 2020
In response to The Guardian, the UK’s NHS might also be growing a WhatsApp chatbot to share dependable coronavirus data. NHS already helps folks within the UK discover dependable well being information by way of Google, and it has partnered with Amazon on an Alexa-based chatbot, so it could possibly be well-positioned so as to add a WhatsApp bot.
Whereas WhatsApp began as a messaging service, it has grown right into a social community, and it is now utilized by over two billion folks worldwide. It additionally poses a singular problem within the struggle in opposition to misinformation. Not like different social networks and search engines like google, its messages are encrypted and untraced. As The Guardian factors out, that makes it particularly troublesome for WhatsApp to crack down on false claims.
Final 12 months, WhatsApp lowered its message forwarding restrict to only 5 folks or teams in an try and curb misinformation, and in 2018, it banned over 400,000 accounts throughout Brazil’s election by cracking down on “automated and bulk messaging exercise.” WhatsApp has additionally made it simpler to stop contacts from dragging you into annoying group chats. Chatbots from dependable sources just like the WHO could possibly be one other approach to fight misinformation.
WhatsApp will seemingly play an essential function within the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, it’s a optimistic one.