We're working with WhatsApp to tackle fake news in rural India

 
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An Airtel store in Uttar Pradesh attracts visitors with free phone charging using a solar powered    BuffaloGrid Hub

An Airtel store in Uttar Pradesh attracts visitors with free phone charging using a solar powered BuffaloGrid Hub

The interactive touch screen on every BuffaloGrid Hub is helping WhatsApp reach users on the edge of the internet

The interactive touch screen on every BuffaloGrid Hub is helping WhatsApp reach users on the edge of the internet

Here at BuffaloGrid, we believe life is better on the internet. But it’s clear fake news is a real problem. Across every continent, rumours spread across social media and the internet like wildfire. In the worst case scenarios, misinformation can have deadly real-world implications.

As a company on a mission to bring mobile power and internet to the next billion, we believe we have a responsibility to help people getting online for the first time understand these risks.

That’s why today we’re pleased to announce we’re working with WhatsApp to help bring their ‘Spread Joy, Not Rumours’ campaign to villages across Northern India through our network of solar-powered community-level mobile phone charging Hubs.

If you charge your phone on our solar-powered BuffaloGrid Hubs today, you’ll be shown a message from WhatsApp on the simple steps to protect you and your loved ones from falling foul of fake news.

Bloomberg recently reported under 50% of all homes are electrified in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. BuffaloGrid Hubs are quickly becoming a simple and reliable solution to the biggest problem preventing people from getting online; finding somewhere to charge their phone.

We worked with Bosco Zubiaga at WhatsApp on this initiative who had this to say:

“We’re humbled by the impact that WhatsApp had on people’s ability to freely connect with their loved ones. We recognise at the same time connecting people can also lead to the spread of misinformation, which has to be confronted. We hope this campaign will help educate people how to stay safe on WhatsApp.”

“We’re grateful for the support from BuffaloGrid in bringing this campaign to villages across Northern India. Power is fundamental to getting online and without companies like this, the internet adoption rate in many places of the world would be much slower and difficult to support.”

Watch WhatsApp’s video campaign below and follow us on Twitter for updates on our mission.


 
Sam Golden