DRC’s WhatsApp Rumor Mill

The DRC’s Ebola outbreak hasn’t just been deadly for infected patients and health workers under attack—journalists have come under fire as they fight the rampant  misinformation.
 
One radio broadcaster was stabbed to death in his home; his station soon shut down.

Mistrust in corrupt local institutions—including the media—drives citizens to WhatsApp, where large group chats become churning rumor mills.
 
And while Facebook—which owns WhatsApp—can minimize the misinformation that appears on its site, WhatsApp’s main selling point—encryption—leaves the tech giant with few options to bury rumors.
 
The New Humanitarian

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