Mangaluru: DK Corona Warriors fights fake news, helps needy amid COVID-19 pandemic


Media Release

Mangaluru, Apr 9: DK Corona Warriors is a team of 483 volunteers registered with the Department of Information and Public Relation in response to an appeal by Government Of Karnataka. These are citizens from all walks of life representing the diversity of Dakshina Kannada district.

The primary mandate for the Corona Warriors is to fight fake news and to broadcast authentic, helpful information to citizens of the district. Additionally, they are involved with daily reporting of lockdown status and issues in their neighbourhoods. They are also involved in implementing social distancing and usage of masks, by helping neighbourhood businesses and by appealing to people. The group is also committed to supporting the district administration in relief works and emergency situations. The warriors are organized into nine taluk groups. The broadcast messages are curated by a core group of four, assisted by an investigation/tech team of 18 people. The group has broadcasted 81 messages between March 31 and April 6 which includes 25 fake alerts. Out of these, six were local fake news investigated and busted by the team.

The Warriors group operates in a highly disciplined manner, overseen by a DIPR master volunteer. The core team is continuously scanning social media platforms and government's official websites for messages and bulletins relevant for Dakshina Kannada district. All such messages
are shared in the taluk groups. Also every time a group member reports a piece of suspicious or inflammatory or fake news the core team takes it up for investigation. If the investigation team's findings are conclusive and backed with corroborating evidence, then a fake news alert is prepared (often in both Kannada and English) which is shared in the taluk groups. Each warrior, in turn, will broadcast these messages to his/her contacts, who will further disseminate the information to more people.

By conservative estimates, messages broadcasted by the DK Corona Warriors are reaching at least 2,64,000 people each day. Apart from the focus on information/fake alert broadcasting, the group is continuously sharing information about relief needs at various parts of the district and solving issues. The volunteers have been connecting people in distress to appropriate governmental departments and social service organizations. In many cases, the Warriors have arranged relief materials by themselves too.

Core team

Naren Koduvattat, Mangaluru
Sahana, Sullia master volunteer, DIPR
Sajid Suber, Suratkal
Sudeep Ghate, Mangaluru

Technology/Investigation team

Amith Raj Shetty, Bantwal
Jayaprakash Ullal, Mangaluru
Lalitha Bhat, Puttur
Mohammad Irshad, Sullia
Mohammad Raashid, Sullia
Mohammad Shafeek, Sullia
Narendra U P, Moodbidri
Nitesh Kumar, Mangaluru
Priyalatha, Mangaluru
Sachin Parappagoudar, Mangaluru
Shameer Abdul Khader, Sampaje
Shashirekha, Mangaluru
Soyab Siraj, Mangaluru
Sudish Kumar, Kadaba
Thauseef Hussain, Mangaluru
Vaishali Suvarna, Mangaluru
Valerian Rodrigues, Beltangady

  

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