Ahead of polls, WhatsApp and Nasscom join hands to fight fake news

Ahead of polls, WhatsApp and Nasscom join hands to fight fake news
18 Mar, 2019

In the run-up to the general elections, WhatsApp has collaborated with Nasscom Foundation, the social arm of National Association of Software and Services Companies, to impart digital literacy to help tackle the challenge of misinformation.

According to a statement from WhatsApp, this partnership aims to reach approximately 100,000 Indians with trainings that will enable people to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum encourages people to be mindful about forwarding rumours. The trainings will include real-world anecdotes, tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and action users can take like reporting problematic content to fact-checkers and law enforcement. The curriculum will be disseminated in multiple regional languages, the company said.

The first training will be held on 27 March in Delhi with volunteers followed by many more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

Nasscom Foundation will activate its large volunteer base to launch the ‘Each One Teach Three’ campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons, leading to a network effect. These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

“Technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to create anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information. Through this partnership with WhatsApp, we hope to enable all of India’s connected citizens to identify a piece of probable fake information while also sensitising them on the possible impact of its further amplification,” said Ashok Pamidi, chief executive officer (CEO), Nasscom Foundation.

Pamidi further urged the citizens to join the fight against the spread of fake information by volunteering towards the cause.