The Coronavirus pandemic is spreading like wildfire and each day we come across new COVID-19 cases. With this, the spread of fake news is also rising and various tech companies are coming up with ways to curb the spread of misinformation amid the current crisis. Much like WhatsApp, Facebook and more, Wikipedia has also jumped onto the bandwagon to provide people with accurate information with its SWASTHA initiative. Read on to know more about it.
Wikipedia SWASTHA initiative
Wikipedia's SWASTHA initiative aims to provide all sorts of health information to users. This will come handy during the current COVID-19 pandemic when will tend to know less about the virus. The main highlight of the SWASTHA initiative is that it provides information in Indian languages so that people in India can get information in their mother tongue for ease of understanding.
Wikipedia's SWASTHA initiative is a Sanskrit word for health and stands for Special Wikipedia Awareness Scheme for The Healthcare Affiliates and aims to provide accurate Coronavirus information via Wikipedia pages so that misinformation stops making rounds.
Toby Negrin, Chief Product Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that hosts Wikipedia, said, "By 2030, we want to be the essential support system for free knowledge globally, from New Delhi to Berlin to San Francisco. To do that, we rely on our amazing and dedicated volunteers around the world. My team focuses on creating tools and resources to make it easier for these volunteer editors to contribute knowledge, and for anyone, anywhere to have access to quality information through Wikipedia."
Wikipedia SWASTHA is in addition to the existing Wikiproject India initiative that was launched in 2017. With the platform, users can now track the number of Coronavirus cases across the country.
Additionally, Wikipedia SWASTHA has started partnering with authorities such as India’s National Health Authority and Ministry of Health as well as with international pandemic control experts from Johns Hopkins University in the United States and the World Health Organisation in Switzerland for more help on the virus. Additionally, there is another Wikipedia page called Wikiproject Medicine to provide users with a number of health articles by doctors and experts globally.