A lot of fake news regarding coronavirus is circulating online. Among various social media platforms, WhatsApp has to be the one most affected where various forms of misinformation regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is taking rounds in the form of WhatsApp forwards. To tackle this situation, the Indian government has taken the charge and decided to launch its own Chatbox or chatbot on WhatsApp to curb the flow of misinformation on coronavirus COVID-19.
The IT ministry and the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) have started a special helpline, MyGov Corona Helpdesk, on WhatsApp to answer people’s queries.
To ask any questions, anyone can drop a WhatsApp text to 9013151515, and the chatbot will send automated responses. The WhatsApp chatbox will list the most frequently asked questions, and the users need to choose the question that they would like an answer to.
The chatbot responds to the following questions:
- What is a coronavirus and what are its symptoms?
- How does coronavirus spread?
- How to reduce the risk of coronavirus?
- Professional advice from AIIMS-Director
- Know more on coronavirus
Where to get help?
The government has also opened a corona helpline - 011-23978046 and 1075 (toll-free). People can also drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to have their questions answered or to seek assistance.
The Indian government furthermore has teamed up with the search giant Google and Facebook to curb the spread of fake news and information. Google has already customized India’s search page with the ‘Do The Five. Help stop coronavirus’ campaign.
The government is also seeking Facebook’s help in order to come up with new solutions regarding the spread of rumors, and misinformation.
Other social media platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, YouTube is also providing its users with factual information, and everything they need to know about this pandemic.
Social media is one of the most prominent platforms where information is regulated and consumed by users. Likewise, to regulate facts and truthful answers about the pandemic, all social media platforms have been in touch with the World Health Organisation.