Above: The i-Alerts mobile app, which can be downloaded from Google Play (Android) and App Store (Apple).
Being part of the digital community, one skill that millennials must have is the ability to distinguish actual, important information from false ones.
For working millennials these days, our work depends largely on going online, thus making this ability a critical thinking skill.
And with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affecting hundreds of countries across the globe, the way we determine which information is true and which is not has never been more important.
Given that we spend most of our time working online, it is inevitable that we find ourselves being bombarded by the latest news and information of the situation.
It is especially alarming (although sadly not surprising) how much false news and information is spreading through social media about COVID-19.
Recently, it was reported that five more individuals have been investigated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the police for spreading fake news on COVID-19, following six individuals who had been charged for the same crime.
However, with an overwhelming number of news and information available online, it is hard to sift through for factual ones and avoid being misinformed.
We watched as our own parents, friends and relatives becoming gullible enough to consume what are actually hoaxes and misleading broadcasts, leading to panic and fear.
Even we ourselves are also not exempted from being affected by misinformation.
Thus, to help the fight against fake news, the Sarawak government has launched a mobile application called i-Alerts to keep people informed about the latest update and status on the COVID-19 crisis in the State.
Managed by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee, the mobile app aims to engage Sarawakians in combating COVID-19 by ensuring news and information presented to them are correct and valid.
Information on the app is available in three languages namely English, Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin.
i-Alerts provides the latest news, announcements, videos, tips and statistics from the government regarding the COVID-19 situation.
The app is available on both Google Play and Apple App Store which can be downloaded by searching the name ‘i-Alerts’.
Sarawakians are advised to download i-Alerts on their mobile devices to not only be updated on the COVID-19 situation in the State, but also play an active role in helping to contain the spread of the disease, as well as combating fake news during the crisis.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
First published in the Borneo Post in print on 28th March 2020.