Facebook Messenger Helps in Combating Against Covid-19

Published March 26th, 2020 - 02:00 GMT
Facebook Messenger Helps in Combating Against Covid-19
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks about Messenger at the F8 conference in 2015. (AFP)
Facebook began enlisting outside developers to create ways its Messenger service can help health organizations in battling the novel coronavirus.

The social network also invited software savants to take part in an online campaign aimed at creating ways to use Messenger to ease social-distancing and deliver accurate information about the pandemic, according to Messenger vice-president Stan Chudnovsky in a blog post.

He unveiled a global program intended to connect government health organizations and UN agencies with developers who can create ways to use Messenger in sharing accurate information and speeding up responses to people's questions.

Software makers, for example, could help agencies automate answering common questions, to allow staff to tackle more challenging tasks.

Developers can also help organizations use software to quickly distribute updated information.

UNICEF and Pakistan's Ministry of National Health already use Messenger to keep people posted about Covid-19, according to the Facebook-owned messaging platform.

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp recently launched a free World Health Organization alert designed to answer questions about the coronavirus and debunk coronavirus myths. The service, launching in English, is to expand in coming weeks to include Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

WhatsApp last week launched a Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with WHO and United Nations organizations.

WhatsApp, which claims more than a billion users, issued a $1million grant to an International Fact-Checking Network devoted to reporting on coronavirus rumors spreading on messaging services.

"We think the most important step WhatsApp can take is to help connect people directly with public health officials providing crucial updates about coronavirus," spokesman Carl Woog told AFP. Concerns have been raised about WhatsApp and other messaging services being used to spread bogus information about coronavirus.

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