483 Corona Warriors to fight fake news in Dakshnina Kannada

A group of netizens in Dakshina Kannada district has formed an anti-fake news team during the coronavirus outbreak, calling themselves DK Corona Warriors.

The team comprises 483 volunteers registered with the department of information and public relations in response to an appeal by the state government.

The citizens’ group has people from all walks of life representing the diversity of DK district, a release here said.

The primary mandate for the Corona Warriors is to fight fake news and broadcast authentic, helpful information to citizens of the district during the lockdown period.

They are involved in daily reporting of lockdown status, issues in their neighbourhoods and spreading the message of social distancing and usage of masks.

The group is also committed to supporting the district administration in relief works and emergency situations.

The warriors are organised into nine taluk groups.

The broadcast messages are curated by a core group of four, assisted by an investigation and technology team of 18 people.

The group has broadcast 81 messages between March 31 and April 6 which includes 25 fake alerts. Of these, six were local fake news investigated and busted by the team.

Every time a group member reports a piece of suspicious, fake or inflammatory news, the core team takes it up for investigation.

If the probe teams findings are conclusive, a fake news alert is prepared (often in both Kannada and English) which is shared in the taluk groups.

Apart from the focus on information and fake alert broadcasting, the group is also sharing information about relief needs in various parts of the district and solving issues.