NASSCOM Foundation, the social arm of the industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has collaborated with WhatsApp to impart digital literacy training to help tackle the challenge of misinformation, especially in the wake of the upcoming 2019 General Elections.

Their aim is to reach approximately 100,000 Indians with training to spot false information and provide tips & tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum encourages people to be mindful about forwarding rumours. The training will include real-world anecdotes, tools that can be used to verify a forward and actions users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and Law Enforcement. The curriculum will be disseminated in multiple regional languages to address the diversity of India.

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi with volunteers followed by many more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban along with road shows across numerous colleges.

NASSCOM Foundation will launch the “Each One Teach Three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect. These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information. Through this partnership with WhatsApp, we hope to enable all of India’s connected citizens to identify a piece of probable fake information while also sensitizing them on the possible impact of its further amplification.”

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said, “We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp. This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding.”

The partnership will strive to make sure that the connected citizens – especially first-time digital users that are trained at the Foundation’s centres become more resilient against sharing of misinformation.