WhatsApp expands radio campaign to curb fake news to 10 more Indian states

NEW DELHI, Sept 5: Stepping up crackdown efforts on spread of fake news, WhatsApp Wednesday said it is expanding its radio campaign to 10 more Indian states, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
The Facebook-owned company has been on an overdrive after it faced severe criticism from the government over circulation of fake news on its platform that incited multiple incidents of mob lynching across the country.
WhatsApp kicked off the first phase of its radio campaign — which urges users to check the veracity of information received as a forward before sharing it with others — on August 29 in seven states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
“The second phase of the campaign starts on September 5 with radio ads across 83 radio stations of AIR across the states of Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Orissa and Tamil Nadu,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
These campaigns will run in eight regional languages — Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Oriya and Tamil and will run for a 15-day duration, it added.
“The campaign has been designed in an easy-to-understand format to help users spot misinformation and further sensitise them about the challenges of fake news and addressing these as a society,” it noted. These campaigns advise users to verify authenticity of messages before forwarding them and to report content that they might find to be inflammatory. It also cautions users to be careful about forwarding messages that contain misinformation, and said doing so could have serious repercussions. (PTI)