WHO Chatbot for Messenger launched to combat COVID-19 misinformation

WHO Chatbot for Messenger

WHO Chatbot for Facebook Messenger (Image Credit: beebom.com, eurocockpit.be)

COVID-19 pandemic has brought the whole world into a standstill, with several governments enforcing complete lockdown for weeks. People are confined to their homes, trying to stop the spread of the virus. Most people spend their maximum time indulging in conversations on social media channels. This invariably and even inadvertently leads to the spread of fake news, misinformation, and myths about the virus. Misinformation is far more dangerous than having no information at all. The tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook are doing their best to make available genuine information to the people, whenever they need it. In that effort, after the popular messaging app WhatsApp, Facebook has now launched COVID-19 WHO chatbot for Messenger. The whole initiative has been brought into fruition by Facebook working in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO chatbot on Messenger will provide up to date, verified and genuine information on COVID-19, and busting some of the common myths about the highly contagious Coronavirus. WHO will have access to the massive userbase of Messenger, which is more than 1.3 billion monthly active users.  The organization can leverage this huge userbase to spread awareness on COVID-19 and remove all the misconceptions.  Users on this online messaging application ask questions and can expect appropriate answers quickly from the chatbot. This interactive service on Messenger is absolutely free to use.

This chatbot is named WHO’s Health Alert Interactive service. This service can be easily accessed from the WHO’s official page on Facebook. When a user taps on the Messenger icon and then by selecting the ‘Send message’ they can avail the chatbot service, which will open up on Facebook Messenger. At present, the Health Alert interactive service can be accessed in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic languages. However, we can expect the service to support more languages, soon.

WHO Chatbot - WHO Chatbot for Messenger
WHO chatbot on Facebook Messenger ( Facebook Messenger/Screenshot )

As per the latest reports, the service has already reached more than 12 million users through Facebook’s other messaging application, WhatsApp. Again, through Facebook Messenger WHO can expand its reach to help people with information, as per the report.

The Messenger version of the service is much similar to how the chatbot works on WhatsApp.  Users will have options such as the latest numbers, mythbusters, travel advice and more, much like how it’s presented in WhatsApp. Replying with the correct number allotted for the query, users will receive relevant updates.

The Who Health Alert Interactive service was built as a collaborative effort involving WHO and Sprinklr the customer experience management platform, as a part of the WHO Technology for COVID-19 Initiative.

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