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WhatsApp creates coronavirus info hub, donates $1M to fight fake news

The messaging platform aims to help users access the latest official health information and connect with friends and family while social distancing.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, international messaging platform WhatsApp will provide a $1 million grant to fight COVID-19-related fake news and misinformation, according to a press release. The company has also created a Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the United Nations Development Programme and the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), to help users access the latest official health information and connect with friends and family while social distancing. 

The $1 million grant will go to the IFCN, and will support journalism from the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus alliance -- a project created by the IFCN in January that includes more than 100 fact-checkers in 45 countries.

"The timely donation from WhatsApp will help the fact checks published by the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance reach a wider audience and help people sort fact from fiction during this avalanche of information that WHO called an 'infodemic," Baybars Orsek, director of the IFCN, said in the release. 

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook , joins other tech companies in efforts to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook said it would be offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 small businesses impacted by the virus worldwide. And Google , Facebook and other tech firms are reportedly in discussions with the US government over how they can help fight the novel coronavirus with location data collected from people's phones

WhatsApp didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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