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Dubai launches WhatsApp number to check authenticity of rumours

Dubai launches WhatsApp number to check authenticity of rumours

Dubai Municipality’s new service aims to address public concerns about rumours circulating on social media

The Dubai Municipality has launched its own WhatsApp number to receive images, videos and messages from concerned residents about rumours circulating on social media.

Members of the public can send their queries and concerns to +971 50 1077 799 and have a rumour investigated by Dubai Municipality officials. Within eight hours of receiving the message, authorities will validate the authenticity of the rumour.

“Most of the rumours are about shampoos being harmful for the hair, beauty products causing skin reactions, food products being carcinogenic or contaminated and restaurants being unhygienic,” head of the Complaints and Suggestions Section at Dubai Municipality Mohammad Ahmad Al Looz told Gulf News.

“Such news is quickly exaggerated and shared on social media and, most of the time, it turns out to be false,” he commented.

. تعتمد بلدية دبي مبدأ الشفافية وتؤمن بأهمية القضاء على الإشاعات واحتوائها بسرعة ومنطقية، وذلك بالتأكد من مصادر الأخبار وقيامها بالتوعية المجتمعية من خلال قنواتها المتعددة. ويمكن الآن للجمهور إرسال أي شائعة أو خبر مشكوك فيه فيما يخص مجال البلدية على الواتس أب +971501077799 أو عبر صفحاتنا للتواصل الاجتماعي Dubai Municipality adopts the principle of transparency and believes in the importance of eradicating rumors quickly and logically, by verifying the news’ sources and by raising community awareness through multiple channels. Now, The public can send any doubtful news or rumors with regard to the area of the Municipality on this Whatsapp # +971501077799 or through our social media pages. #دبي #بلدية_دبي #الخبر_اليقين #DubaiMunicipality #Dubai #mydubai

A photo posted by Dubai Municipality بلدية دبي (@dubaimunicipality) on

Dubai Municipality launched a similar initiative in 2015 called Authentic News to verify rumours. Helplines were also set up to answer any concerns residents may have.

Such initiatives have been put in place to address the many exaggerated rumours and statements that have been made online.

According to the Dubai Municipality, authorities have responded to 24 rumours via its call centre since June 2015, dealing with an average of two rumours per month.

Some of these rumours circulating among residents were concerned with cheese, Vimto, chocolate, light-emitting diode (LED) shoes, perfume, and worms in green tea.

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