Messaging giant WhatsApp has partnered with the social arm of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to pass on digital literacy training. The key objective behind the partnership is to enable fighting misinformation and the spread of fake news.
As per the Facebook-owned messaging giant, the partnership aims to reach out to approximately 1,00,000 citizens and train them to spot fake news and teach them tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp before we head into the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The first batch of training is expected to begin on 27 March in Delhi, which will be followed by workshops for representatives from rural and urban locations.
WhatsApp also plans on having roadshows and interacting with youngsters in colleges. NASSCOM Foundation, on its part, will provide volunteers to be trained.
The project is also mandated under NASSCOM Foundation’s ‘Each One Teach Three’ campaign which requires each trained individual to share their learning with at least three more people. The volunteers are also expected to share key takeaways from their learning on social media platforms to cater to a wider audience.
WhatsApp says that the training module is co-created to include real-world anecdotes and tools that can be used to verify a forward and actions users can take. These include reporting misinformed content to fact checkers and Law Enforcement.
The training modules will also be communicated in multiple regional languages.
Abhijit Bose, the WhatsApp India head, said, “We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp. This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding.”
This is the second such instance of WhatsApp partnering with a local organisation to educate users about being vigilant about misinformation. Last year, WhatsApp announced a partnership with Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to create awareness on the spread of fake news. As part of this, DEF will work with the likes of government officials, administration representatives, civil society organisations as well as students and help inculcate a habit of verifying information by running simple checks.