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Facebook’s Corona Helpdesk bot lets users get COVID-19 updates over Messenger

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 28, 2020

Representative image   -  Bloomberg

Tech giant Facebook on Friday launched a COVID-19 chatbot on its messaging platform, Facebook Messenger Chatbot in partnership with the Union Health Ministry and MyGov in India to raise awareness around the pandemic.

The Corona Helpdesk Chatbot on Messenger is meant to provide accurate and reliable information and debunk fake news related to the global pandemic.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to support the government across ministries with communications tools and resources to share timely, accurate information on the coronavirus to keep people safe and informed," Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook, India had said in a statement.

Users can assess Facebook’s Corona Helpdesk Chatbot through messenger. The chatbot connects users to the Union Health Ministry for authentic news, official updates, precautionary measures and emergency helpline numbers. The Chatbot has both English and Hindi languages.

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.

The social media giant has been taking various initiatives to spread correct, authenticated information related to COVID-19 on its platform. T recent had limited the number fo forwards a user can send on its Messenger app in a bid to curb the spread of misinformation through the messaging app.

It had also launched a coronavirus information hub which will be displayed above a user’s news feed Facebook and would provide the latest updates and information from authenticated resources.

The social media giant had also launched a similar chatbot on its messaging platform WhatsApp in partnership with the World Health Organization called WHO Health Alert. The english version of the WHO Health Alert has over 12 million users.

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Published on March 28, 2020

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