The Karnataka government is looking for out-of-the-box solutions to the fake news menace around coronavirus. There are scores of messages with fake information being disseminated on social media, particularly WhatsApp, spreading false information regarding COVID-19.
This includes news stories claiming that the Karnataka Health Minister endorses cow dung and urine as the cure for coronavirus, to WhatsApp forwards which claimed that the Bengaluru civic authority would spray the city with medicine at night from the sky.
Such fake news and WhatsApp forwards have prompted the government to appeal for help from those who might be interested in helping people during the pandemic, and have a little extra time on their hands.
In a tweet, Captain Manivannan, an IAS officer who works with the Karnataka government, called for applications for a volunteering position to fight fake news. Captain Manivannan, in his tweet, said, “Want to be a ‘Corona Warrior’ of Karnataka? Join hands with the Indian Red Cross Society and the Information dept (DIPR), Karnataka, in fighting Corona, thru disseminating correct news and killing the fake news!“
According to the disclaimer on the website, this is not a paid position. “Disclaimer: This is purely voluntary and informal, and hence no remuneration will be provided to you except an appreciation of your work. This will be for a period of 60 days.”
People interested in the position would need to go here and fill up a form with their personal information, including date of birth and Aadhaar number.
The website says, “After shortlisting and verification by our side, you will be issued an ID card by our local officer and you will work along with them. Once you are shortlisted, our local officer will call you, verify you and provide you with an identity card. You will then be a ‘Corona warrior’.”