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In a Bid to Tackle Fake News, WhatsApp Launches Second Phase of Radio Ad Campaign in India

WhatsApp has also taken some technological measures to curb the problem of disinformation, including the introduction of the "forwarded" tag and limiting forwarding to five chats at once

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp rolls out second phase of radio ad campaign in India. Pixabay
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After being pulled up by the government to take concrete steps to stop the spread of misinformation and fake news on its platform, Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Wednesday said it has launched the second phase of its radio ad campaign in the country to create awareness and empower users.

The first phase of the educational campaign was kicked off on August 29 with ads across 46 radio stations of All India Radio (AIR) in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The second phase of the campaign started on Wednesday 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.

These campaigns will run in eight regional languages — Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Oriya and Tamil — for a 15-day duration, WhatsApp said in a statement.

The campaign has been designed in an easy to understand format to help user’s spot misinformation and further sensitize them about the challenges of fake news and addressing these as a society.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp to train users on dangers of fake news as well.

“WhatsApp stands committed in its efforts to address these issues jointly with civil society, stakeholders and the government,” the company said.

These radio campaign highlights tips like understand when a message is “forwarded”; check information that seems unbelievable and photos carefully; question information that upsets you and be thoughtful about what you share.

WhatsApp has also roped in New Delhi-based non-profit Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to create awareness among its users about the need to verify information.

“Our goal is to help keep people safe by creating greater awareness about fake news and empowering users to help limit its spread,” Ben Supple, Public Policy Manager at WhatsApp, said in a statement.

As part of the new partnership with WhatsApp, DEF has committed to holding 40 training sessions for community leaders in 10 states across the country where there have been worrisome cases of violence and where there will be state polls before the end of the year.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

In a meeting with WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels on August 21, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad instructed the Facebook-owned platform to comply with the law of the land and take “suitable” steps to prevent its misuse.

The meeting took place after several lynching incidents were linked to the spread of misinformation on the instant messaging platform which has over 200 million monthly active users in India.

Also Read- Exercising Too Little Puts Your Health At Risk: WHO

WhatsApp has also taken some technological measures to curb the problem of disinformation, including the introduction of the “forwarded” tag and limiting forwarding to five chats at once.

“In addition to the steps we are taking within WhatsApp, we believe impacting lives through the power of education is critical to helping achieve the vision of a ‘Digital India’,” Supple added. (IANS)

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India’s PSLV Along With 2 British Satellites Launched Successfully

Two satellites aboard the PSLV belong to Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd (SSTL), UK, and is carried under commercial arrangement with Antrix Corp Ltd - the commercial arm of ISRO.

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Indian rocket lifts off with two earth observation satellites from UK
Indian rocket lifts off with two earth observation satellites from UK. Flickr

Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifted off successfully with two British satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, from the rocket port here on Sunday night.

The PSLV-CA (Core Alone) version, standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 230.4 tonnes, with thick orange flame at its tail lighting up the night skies rose up at 10.08 p.m. from the first launch pad.

The rocketport here has two launch pads.

PSLV
Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle  lifts off with two British satellites NovaSAR and S1-4, as seen from Chennai. IANS

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), after 17 minutes, 44 seconds following the PSLV lift-off, the two earth observation satellites will be launched into a 583 km sun synchronous orbit.

NovaSAR weighing 445 kg is a S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite intended for forest mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring.

 

PSLV
Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle  lifts off with two British satellites NovaSAR and S1-4, as seen from Chennai on Sept 16. IANS

S1-4 weighing 444 kg is a high resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellite, used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and for disaster monitoring.

 

Also Read: ISRO Expects to Fly Its First Small Rocket Sometime Next Year

Two satellites aboard the PSLV belong to Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd (SSTL), UK, and is carried under commercial arrangement with Antrix Corp Ltd – the commercial arm of ISRO. (IANS)