Facebook connects government, UN health agencies to Messenger developers

The social media giant has also invited developers to build messaging solutions for access to accurate information on the coronavirus

Chennai: Government health organisations and UN health agencies such as the WHO (World Health Organisation) will soon be able to use Facebook Messenger to widely reach the public with messages to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook said it would connect government and UN officials with its developer partners who will help them use Messenger “most effectively to scale their response to COVID-19”.

The developers’ services will be offered free to these organisations.

The developers will teach the health officials how “to share timely information with local communities and speed up their replies to commonly asked questions with tools like automated responses,” Facebook said.

Facebook is also separately encouraging developers on its platform to build messaging solutions to disseminate accurate information on precautions that the public must take, such as social distancing.

To incentivise the development of novel messaging solutions to spread authenticated information to the public, and to likely stem the sharing of false or misleading news, Facebook is getting developers to work within a time-frame by announcing an online hackathon.

Winners will be mentored by Facebook to help build up their ideas into actual solutions.

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