WhatsApp has announced the launch of two initiatives in support of the global fight against the Coronavirus pandemic: the global launch of the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with the World Health Organization and UNDP as well as a $1 million donation to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
The WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub launches today at whatsapp.com/coronavirus to provide simple, actionable guidance for health workers, educators, community leaders, nonprofits, local governments and local businesses that rely on WhatsApp to communicate. The site also offers general tips and resources for users around the world to reduce the spread of rumors and connect with accurate health information.
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While people need to spend time apart, WhatsApp will continue to provide a simple, reliable, and secure way for people to communicate. These recommendations provide quick guidance on how small groups can make the most of WhatsApp features and will be distributed by UNDP to those coordinating local efforts. In addition, WhatsApp is working with UNICEF and WHO to provide messaging hotlines for people around the world to use directly. These hotlines will be listed on the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub.
To date, WhatsApp has worked with a number of national health ministries and NGOs to provide factual information to users via text in countries including Singapore, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia. As these efforts continue, the hub will be updated with the latest resources.
WhatsApp’s grant to the IFCN will support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which spans more than 100 local organizations in at least 45 countries. Over the last year, WhatsApp has worked to bring over a dozen fact-checking organizations directly onto WhatsApp so they can crowdsource and report on rumors that may be circulating on various messaging services including WhatsApp or SMS.