WhatsApp's Latest Step to Combat Fake News in India - a TV Campaign

Share on Facebook Tweet Share Reddit Comment
WhatsApp's Latest Step to Combat Fake News in India - a TV Campaign

WhatsApp worked with filmmaker Shirsha Guha Thakurta on the campaign

Highlights
  • WhatsApp on Monday launched its first-ever TV campaign in India
  • It wants to address the challenge of misinformation
  • WhatsApp has been facing flak for the misuse of its platform

WhatsApp on Monday launched its first-ever TV campaign in India as part of its efforts to address the challenge of misinformation and pernicious rumours. The Facebook owned company has been facing flak for the misuse of its platform.

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.

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.

WhatsApp Chief Business Officer Neeraj Arora Quits, Thanks Brian Acton and Jan Koum

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 production of these films for WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Names Ezetap Co-Founder Abhijit Bose as Its First India Head

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.

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 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.


We discussed what WhatsApp absolutely needs to do in 2019, on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: WhatsApp, India
Samsung Galaxy J6+, Galaxy J8 Price Cut in India, Now Start at Rs. 14,490
Mortal Kombat 11 Modes, Gameplay, and Story Leaked; To Be Announced at The Game Awards 2018
 
 

Advertisement

 

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2019. All rights reserved.