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News : Dubai Launches WhatsApp Number to Check Authenticity of Rumours
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 20, 2016 -- 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 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.
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.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Dubai Municipality:
Dubai Municipality is the municipal body with jurisdiction over city services and the upkeep of facilities in the Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was established in 1954 by the then crown prince of Dubai, Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2016