Coronavirus: Facebook launches Messenger Chatbot to share information, counter fake news

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Published: March 27, 2020 8:19:34 PM

To contact the chatbot, users can go to the Facebook page on MyGov Corona Hub and then start a chat by typing Get Started', which will prompt them to either type in a query or choose from a list of frequently asked questions.

Facebook has facilitated Corona Helpdesk Chatbot on Messenger to raise awareness, provide authentic and accurate information and bust fake news about coronavirus. (Reuters)

Facebook has launched Messenger Chatbot to share information about coronavirus, as part of efforts to help people access authentic information about the pandemic, and counter fake news. “Together with the Ministry of Health and MyGov, Facebook has facilitated Corona Helpdesk Chatbot on Messenger to raise awareness, provide authentic and accurate information and bust fake news about coronavirus.

“Facebook users can start accessing the Corona Helpdesk Chatbot and reach out to the Ministry of Health for authentic news, official updates, precautionary measures and emergency helpline numbers through this chatbot,” a Facebook statement said on Friday. The chatbot comes with English and Hindi language capabilities.

To contact the chatbot, users can go to the Facebook page on MyGov Corona Hub and then start a chat by typing Get Started’, which will prompt them to either type in a query or choose from a list of frequently asked questions.
Depending on the question, users will receive verified information in the form of a video, infographic or text, it added. “This combined effort by Ministry of Health, MyGov and Facebook will help contribute to the safety and well-being while providing information from reliable and credible sources,” the statement added.

Commenting on the latest move, Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook India said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to support the government across ministries with communications tools and resources to share timely, accurate information on coronavirus to keep people safe and informed. We will continue to do everything we can to help the country’s efforts.”

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