A pandemic in the age of social media is definitely different. While at one side social media founders are finding it difficult to cope with fake news and misinformation, on the other, it is educating people, disseminating information and is also trying to lighten up the panic.
WHO in a month’s time has turned out to be one of the biggest social media influencers.
Sprinklr, a social media analytic platform has recorded as many as 20 million mentions or more of coronavirus-related terms on March 11. As of 12th March, Videos using the hashtag #coronavirus are up to 5.5bn total views on TikTok.
Here are some of the initiatives that are helping to bust myths around the coronavirus and helping people inculcate healthier practices of prevention.
The Safe Hands Challenge
The Safehands challenge was launched by WHO, tagging famous personalities from across the world to spend their 20 seconds to wash hands thoroughly and upload it on their social media handle, prompting others to follow the practice.
“You too can have safe and clean hands anywhere. Now I am calling on the world to take the WHO Safe Hands challenge to be ready for coronavirus,” WHO chief Ghebreyesus said.
Sports stars like Kaka, actor-singer Billy Porter, Politician Paul Kagame among million others have already taken part in the challenge. Indian stars like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra have been invited by the WHO chief to be a part of this challenge that is doing rounds on twitter.
Hey y'all! You gotta wash your hands, kids! Follow the @WHO guidelines and spend 40-60 seconds scrubbing off all those germs. And keep your little asses at home so we can stop this virus and get back to living! Love you all! Stay safe & stay healthy! #SafeHands #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/DnHSpspChW
— Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) March 16, 2020
Break The Chain
“Break the chain” was a campaign launched by the Kerala government to combat Coronavirus.
“We need to evolve personal hygiene as a healthy habit and wash our hands and face after coming into public contact. This can help break the chain of virus infection,” said KK Shailaja, health minister while launching the campaign.
People are taking up the #BreakTheChain campaign of the Kerala govt to fight #COVID19 in a big way. People of Nanmanda in Kozhikode district have set up a hand washing facility at a bus stop. pic.twitter.com/BkXJv40vyC
— Subin Dennis (@subindennis) March 17, 2020
Kickstarting the handwashing campaign the government has installed handwashing facilities at public places including railway stations and bus stops. Woke Journal also became part of this initiative.
PIB Fact Check
#Coronavirus CANNOT be treated by gargling with warm water mixed with salt and vinegar.
This is #fakenews circulating on social media and WhatsApp.
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 16, 2020
Indian government’s Press Information Bureau is also actively taking part in social media campaigns. The campaign called “Fact Check” is all about busting fake news that is making rounds in social media.
Tik Tok’s Myth Busters
@who“We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test!”- Dr Tedros ##COVID19 ##coronavirus
TikTok in association with the World Health Organization (WHO) is in an attempt to “provide trusted information to the community”. Through this partnership it has provided a page with a Q&A about the virus, ways to protect yourself, and “Mythbusters” featuring tips from the WHO.