WhatsApp Steps Up Efforts for Fake News Fight in India With New TV Campaign

Facing flak for the misuse of its platform, WhatsApp today launched its first-ever TV campaign in India as part of its efforts to address the challenge of misinformation and pernicious rumours. The popular messaging platform earlier launched two phases of a radio campaign to create awareness among users. The first phase of the campaign was kicked off on August 29 with ads across 46 radio stations of the All India Radio (AIR) in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

whatsapp-tv-campaign-india

The second phase of the campaign started on September 5 with radio ads across 83 AIR radio stations in Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

For the TV campaign, WhatsApp said it worked closely with filmmaker Shirsha Guha Thakurta to develop three 60 second films that each convey real scenarios about dangerous rumours that can spread among users. Timed to start just prior to the Assembly elections in Rajasthan and Telangana, the films will be available on TV, Facebook and YouTube in nine languages, the Facebook-owned platform said, adding that it would build on this effort to prepare for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“We’re humbled by the impact that WhatsApp had on people’s ability to freely connect with their loved ones. We recognise at the same time connecting people can also lead to the spread of misinformation, which has to be confronted,” said Bosco Zubiaga, who led the production of these films for WhatsApp.

The rumours spread on the popular messaging platform which has over 200 million users in India have been linked to several lynching incidents in the country, forcing the government to send a stern message to the company.

READ:  Vodafone Idea Starts Offering One Year of Unlimited Calling and 1.5GB Daily Data for Free: How to Avail

Meeting WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels in August, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the platform must comply with the law and take “suitable” steps to prevent its misuse.

Over the last several months, WhatsApp has made a series of changes including labelling forwarded messages to inform users when they have received something, not from their immediate contact and set a limit on how forwarded messages can be sent.

In addition, it bans accounts that engage in an unwanted automated activity. “We hope this campaign will help educate people how to stay safe on WhatsApp,” Zubiaga said.

Each film’s protagonist teaches someone important in their lives to not spread rumours and to use WhatsApp controls such as the ability to leave groups where rumours are spread and block unknown senders.

Read more on:

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

1
Leave a Reply

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Rakesh Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Rakesh
Rakesh

As long as the IT cell and it’s associated fake news portals exist, whatsapp cannot do anything about this. Be smart. Let the cells disappear with the power of your index finger.

Recent Posts

Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma Steps Down, Ravinder Takkar Announced as New CEO

In a new turn of events, Vodafone Idea CEO, Balesh Sharma has stepped down from his position, citing personal reasons....

Xiaomi Mi A3 Likely to Start at Rs 14,998 in India, Hints Amazon Listing

Xiaomi Mi A3 which is launching in India on August 21 will likely start retailing at a price of Rs...

Bharti Airtel Appoints Rajesh Tapadia as CEO of Data Centre and Cloud Business

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Monday said it has appointed Rajesh Tapadia as the CEO of its data centre and...