It's been a few years now that a new University has taken our country by storm. From old to young, there's not a single person who skips a single class and even shares their knowledge with the entire world.
It is the very famous and beloved WhatsApp University.
A term which was coined by journalist Ravish Kumar when fake news, facts, life hacks and the 'truth about everything' was believed and forwarded by everyone.
Something that spreads like wildfire and 'educates' the literates and the self-taught illiterates who blindly believe in any information that is forwarded to them.
So now that the world is taken over by the fear of Coronavirus, this 'university' is at the top of its game. It has not just been giving rise to unwarranted panic among people in the form of fake news and forwards on WhatsApp, but has been spreading misinformation about this deadly virus.
India might escape from coronavirus but not from the WhatsApp messages on Coronavirus.— Malarăsculat (@caselchris1) March 4, 2020
Like how these forwards popularly have been talking about various cures and 'home remedies' that would actually cleanse corona virus.
News Flash : There still isn't any cure for the deadly virus anywhere in the world. But for the people who still haven't schooled themselves about that believe all those crappy remedies and send it forward as 'goodwill'.
Seriously guys, no garlic, ginger or even water is gonna cure this virus. And for the ones who think soaking yourself in the sun is killing those virus because it 'cannot survive in high temperatures', it is just getting you tanned.
Corona Virus enters in India— Aishthetic ?? (@Badassgirlll) March 4, 2020
Le WhatsApp remedies : pic.twitter.com/f92nX1CmfZ
But the problem with these WhatsApp forwards are not just spreading misinformation. Us Indians have been cracking jokes about this virus which has killed over 3,000 across the globe and it is in bad taste.
The problem is not just the jokes, but the fact that because of these jokes people are taking this deadly virus very lightly. While some think, it's a mere joke, others think that people are just making a big deal about it.
But for the people, who want to get accurate information about the virus and don't know what and who to trust, they should check websites of legit organisations like WHO and Ministry of Health to keep themselves well informed.
Good morning!— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) March 5, 2020
Let's start the day with a resolve to practice simple healthy habits such as hand washing, cough etiquette, and not spitting in public. These help to protect from #coronavirus.#SwasthaBharat#HelpUsToHelpYou#COVID19india pic.twitter.com/g75GXznfJh
Even if that doesn't work out, one should at least check if the facts and news are coming from known publications and sources.
It is obviously quite easy to believe rumours or something that is as easily accessible as forwards, but most of the forwards are part of hearsay. Eventually, the line that divides what is real news and what is not, unfortunately, becomes blurred.
I humbly appeal to all to not spread misinformation about corona virus on social media & WhatsApp— Dr. J Geeta Reddy 🇮🇳 (@drjgeetareddy) March 4, 2020
Avoid crowded places and international travel unless necessary
The helpline setup by the govt. for any queries you may have is +91-11-23978046 #coronavirusinindia pic.twitter.com/TilU25ES1q
So, don't panic and calmly differentiate between fake news and the real ones.