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Covid-19: TikTok launches Mat kar forward campaign to fight misinformation

TikTok, a short video mobile application, allows users to create and share short videos with special effects which are hugely popular. (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
TikTok, a short video mobile application, allows users to create and share short videos with special effects which are hugely popular. (Photo: Bloomberg)

  • Directed by Anurag Basu, the campaign has Virat Kohli, Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Sara Ali Khan
  • TikTok has been under pressure to create safer environment and stringent measures to fight fake news on its platform

NEW DELHI: Herbal cures for coronavirus infection, communal content, audio clips declaring national emergency are a few examples of rampant circulation of fake news and misinformation on social media platforms, sparking panic amid the covid-19 pandemic.

To fight this, short video app TikTok has released a campaign 'Mat kar forward' https://vm.tiktok.com/crjbqd/ urging netizens to stop forwarding videos which do not have verified information.

Directed by filmmaker Anurag Basu, the film opens with celebrities Virat Kohli, Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Sara Ali Khan talking about how dangerous the virus is and how easily it can spread. As the video progresses, it is revealed that they are talking about misinformation and fake news which often push people into making ill-informed choices, eroding trust and impacting communities.

TikTok's public service announcement #MatKarForward aims to help raise awareness among the digital community around creation and sharing of misinformation.

Nikhil Gandhi, India head, TikTok said, "Spread of misinformation is an industry-wide concern and a shared responsibility...we continue to take proactive steps to prioritise the safety and well-being of our communities. #MatKarForward is part of our ongoing initiatives to raise awareness around the spread of misinformation and to maintain a safe and positive environment for our users."

Immensely popular across country, TikTok has been under pressure by government to create safer environment and stringent measures to fight fake news and misinformation on its platform. It has appointed a grievance officer apart from taking down hundreds of misinformation videos from its platform.

Recently, to fight the menace of misinformation, it had introduced a 'Misleading Information' category along with a covid-19 sub-category, within the in-app reporting feature. Last year, a similar awareness campaign called #WaitASecToReflect was launched, urging users to pause and think before sharing anything online.

The platform also said that users can participate by pledging support to this initiative by sharing videos with a specially created and animated in-app #MatKarForward sticker.

The campaign was shot by the cast at their respective homes and then edited by Basu to adhere to the government's guidelines on social distancing.

Basu said, "Today, we have a bigger responsibility than ever before to prevent the spread of misinformation. We all have the power to share the right information by evaluating the information we have at hand...I hope this is an awakening for everyone of how our actions can affect others today and every day."

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