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WhatsApp Launches Service to Tip off Fake News in India

Following the project, PROTO aims to submit learnings to the International Center for Journalists to help other organisations learn from the design and operations of this project

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WhatsApp has made a series of changes, including labeling forwarded messages to inform users when they have received something not from their immediate contacts. Pixabay

WhatsApp on Tuesday launched a service in India where over 200 million users in the country can tip off fake news, misinformation and rumours related to elections.

Launched by PROTO, a media skilling start-up, the tipline will help create a database of rumours to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint — a research project commissioned by WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned company said in a statement.

People in India can submit misinformation or rumours to the “Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp” at +91-9643-000-888.

Dig Deeper Media and Meedan, who have previously worked on misinformation-related projects around the world, are helping PROTO to develop the verification and research frameworks for India.

“The goal of this project is to study the misinformation phenomenon at scale — natively in WhatsApp,” said PROTO’s founders Ritvvij Parrikh and Nasr ul Hadi.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

When a WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, PROTO’s verification centre will seek to respond and inform the user if the claim made in the message shared is verified or not.

The response will indicate if the information is classified as true, false, misleading, disputed or out of scope and include any other related information that is available.

“The centre can review rumours in the form of pictures, video links or text and will cover four regional languages including Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam, other than English,” said WhatsApp.

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Following the project, PROTO aims to submit learnings to the International Center for Journalists to help other organisations learn from the design and operations of this project.

“The research from this initiative will help create a global benchmark for those wishing to tackle misinformation in their own markets,” said Fergus Bell, Founder and CEO, Dig Deeper Media. (IANS)

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Facebook Funds India’s Fastest Growing Education Start-Up “Unacademy”

In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors

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"Facebook is an ally for India's economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it's rapidly rising Internet ecosystem," said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India. VOA

Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy.

“We thank General Atlantic and Facebook who have joined us in this journey and our existing investors who continue to be a part of the journey by supporting us. Our goal is to democratise education and become not just the largest educational organisation but the largest consumer Internet story out of India,” Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy, said in a statement.

Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures also participated in this round of funding, along with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart and Sujeet Kumar, co-founder, Udaan, Unacademy said. “Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it’s rapidly rising Internet ecosystem,” said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India.

“With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India. We love that the company is fundamentally democratising education and driving innovation in new learning models,” Mohan said.

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Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy. Pixabay

The edtech start-up said that it would utilise the funding to further penetrate into the test preparation categories, launching more exam categories, acquiring top educators, and creating exceptional learning experiences for the learners through great content and product. In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors.

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“Our goal from day one has been to democratise education and make quality education accessible to everyone. We do that by bringing the best educators and content on our platform and ensuring it is accessible to everyone across the country,” Munjal said. (IANS)