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Whatsapp university

Fear, stress, and incorrect action caused due to misinformation circulated on whatsapp

Photo of Arushi Aggarwal
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In and through this challenging time, there's a lot of content moving on whatsapp that isn't verified. Messages such as "don't step out of your house between 10pm and 5am tonight as the local government is spraying anti covid-19 medicine in the air" are not only created but also somehow circulated.
Without trusted sources of information to look to - it is easy to be taken in by contradictions and misinformation. In the past, the newspaper and the daily news were trusted sources of information, but now reliable news is a rarity.

Did this resource motivate you to change your behaviors?

  • Yes

In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?

I try to verify critical information from multiple sources before trusting it.

Did you share this information with your network?

  • No

Where are you getting information around COVID-19?

  • News: Digital
  • Social Media
  • WHO (World Health Organization)

What information do you feel you are missing about COVID-19?

There isn't enough local information to follow on Covid-19. Most news is international, making it difficult to assess the reality where we live.

What is your current profession?

Designer

In what city are you located?

Chandigarh

In what country are you located?

India

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Photo of Anurag Sahay
Team

Agree with every bit of that. And that is exactly what worries me - unabated false information. Social media is misused more than not, at least in India. I saw that message about 10 pm to 5 am too, and it was absolutely terrifying how educated people forward every bullshit message of that sort without caring to give it a thought. There has been a surge in these messages in the last 5 years, most of it emanating from the Whatsapp handle of BJP, and most if not all, fake and vile. what is most worrying, so-called educated people have made it a habit to forward those.