In its efforts to fight fake news and prevent the spread of misinformation, the new age medium resorts to some old tricks. WhatsApp, a popular chat client in the world, has adopted skits and street plays to battle fake news.
Notably, WhatsApp has earlier released full-page print advertisements in leading media. It seems that users paid little attention to those messages published mostly in English dailies. And this could be the reason why the messaging app has come up with an age-old method of spreading awareness in India.
Truckload of Messages to Prevent Fake News Menace in India by WhatsApp
To perform skits and street plays, WhatsApp has joined hands with RelianceJio, a fast-growing telecom carrier owned by Mukesh Ambani, the wealthiest person in the country.
WhatsApp has plans to conduct roadshows in ten cities of India, where the campaign will run. Performers arrive in an open truck, painted in the lime-green colors, and then artists begin to perform.
The target audience for this campaign is users from the countryside, where caste and religious issues exist predominantly.
The performers teach users how to identify forwarded messages and use WhatsApp responsibly.
This campaign is followed by the government’s pressure on WhatsApp and Facebook to stop this nuisance of fake news and hate speeches. Notably, more than 30 deaths in 70 lynching attempts since January 2017 have been reported.
Rumors and misinformation have damaged the moral fiber of Indian society, where people follow conservative principles of the caste system. In a situation of social turmoil, people cannot take the right judgment in difficult situations. Violence and hate stem from such rumors as the uneducated mass of the country are the most gullible to believe what they see and read on their smartphones.
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