Yes, you have heard right WhatsApp will award $50,000 to stop fake news in India. So as we all know WhatsApp has become an one of the best way to communicate with anyone in the world. Whatsapp has around 1.5 billion users across 180 countries. But Whatsapp has also become one of the top social platforms to share fake news in India. Over the last few years in India many people have been killed, mostly in rural villages due to fake news.
So whatsApp has offered an award of upto $50,000(around 34,38,250 rs) to anyone who can help to stop the spread of fake news on its platform following a spate of deadly lynchings in India due to fake news. There are many cases of mob violence, lynchings and other types of acts that have been caused due to the fake news that spread on WhatsApp. Indian authorities have stated that there is no truth to the fake news, and that the targeted people are innocent.
WhatsApp is known to be testing a set of new features such as spam and suspicious link detection to circumvent the spread of false rumors.
It has also launched a contest called ‘WhatsApp Research Awards for Social Science and Misinformation’. WhatsApp says researchers can present proposals of what the company can do to solve the problem of fake news leading to lynchings. The incentive here is that it will provide awards of up to $50,000 in funding for the selected proposals.
The company would invite the award recipients to attend two workshops on how WhatsApp works and also encouraging them to share their research works with other awardees to collaborate and eliminate fake new from its roots.
The applications for applying to this award are due by 12 August. Applicants will be notified about further actions via email by 15 September.
A WhatsApp spokesperson said “WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users. Through this new project, we look forward to working with leading academic experts in India to learn more about how online platforms are used to spread misinformation. This local research will help us build upon recent changes we have made within WhatsApp and support broad education to help people spot false news and hoaxes”.
To know more about contest ‘WhatsApp Research Awards for Social Science and Misinformation’.