English Current Affairs - 2020

WhatsApp Launches Tip Line to curb Fake News

Social Media Platform WhatsApp has launched an India-focused fact-checking feature to combat fake news and rumours starting with the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Curbing Fake News

  • Users can check the authenticity of the information or rumours received on the platform by reporting the forward to the WhatsApp number +91-9643-000-888.
  • The response will indicate if the information is classified as ‘true’, ‘false’, ‘misleading’, ‘disputed’ or ‘out of scope’, and include any other related information.
  • Pictures, video links or texts in Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam and English will be reviewed by WhatsApp.
  • This tip line feature has been developed by WhatsApp in collaboration with India-based media skilling startup PROTO.
  • The tip line feature will help to create a database of rumours to study misinformation during elections as part of a research project commissioned and assisted by WhatsApp.

As more data flows in, WhatsApp will be able to identify the most susceptible or affected issues, locations, languages, regions, etc. The verification reports Whatsapp sends back will encourage the users to send more signals for analysis.

Google launches Bolo to tutor children to read Hindi and English

Tech giant Google has unveiled a new app ‘Bolo’ that aims to help children in primary school learn to read in Hindi and English.

Bolo App

  • It is free to use app and can be accessed through the Google Play Store.
  • The app uses Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology.
  • Through an animated character Diya, the app encourages children to read stories aloud.
  • The app also helps if the child is unable to pronounce a word.
  • It lauds the reader when he/she completes the reading.
  • The app also works offline. Once downloaded the user will have access to 100 stories in Hindi and English that the children can read out loud and improve their reading skills.

Google has already piloted the Bolo App in about 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh. Google cites the early results as encouraging with 64 per cent of children showing an improvement in reading proficiency in just three months. Google is now planning to collaborate with non-profit groups to enhance the reach of the app.