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Viber messaging platform is latest to counter COVID-19 misinformation

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Viber messaging platform is latest to counter COVID-19 misinformation
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Viber has become the latest messaging platform to join forces with the World Health Organization (WHO) to tackle misinformation.

It follows Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp in releasing an interactive chat service aimed at answering the most common COVID-19 related queries from reliable health sources. It will also provide real-time updates from the WHO.

Earlier this month, WHO first released the alert system on WhatsApp, where users can click on the 'WHO Health Alert' icon to ask their query. The WHO also releases a daily report with confirmed information and tips.

“WHO’s aim is to reach as many people as possible with reliable health information through innovative digital technology. Information is powerful and can help save lives during this pandemic,” the head of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.

Facebook and Twitter have both made moves to curb the spread of misinformation, and agreed to take down false claims that could cause physical harm with regards to the pandemic.

This comes as there has been an onslaught of misinformation amid the coronavirus pandemic, with EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen calling on technology companies to increase their efforts.

"It's a massive wave [of disinformation], breeding on the ground of uncertainty, anxiety and the rapidly changing news cycle," she said in a video released on Twitter.

"We are working with online platforms, and we encourage them to step up their action on disinformation on the coronavirus," she said.