By using the IFCN’s bot on WhatsApp, citizens from all over the world will be able to easily check whether a piece of content about COVID-19 has already been rated as false by professional fact-checkers.
New Delhi: With hordes of fake messages doing the rounds in social media and messaging apps, it becomes very difficult to judge. This has become more difficult in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the user is sometimes not aware that the forward is actually a fake news.
To handle such cases, instant messaging app WhatsApp has collaborated with Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) so that users can check misinformations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By using the IFCN’s bot on WhatsApp, citizens from all over the world will be able to easily check whether a piece of content about COVID-19 has already been rated as false by professional fact-checkers, a statement said.
The chatbot has short and numerical menu. Users will only need to text numbers to navigate it.
Initially, the IFCN’s bot – which is free to use – will be available only in English, but other languages, including Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese, will follow soon, it added.
Since January, more than 80 fact-checking organisations from 74 countries have identified more than 4,000 hoaxes related to novel coronavirus. The information has been compiled in the CoronaVirusFacts database and is updated daily by IFCN, so that chatbot users can navigate and easily access its content.
“The system is capable of identifying the user’s country via the mobile country code and then sharing the nearest fact-checking organizations. Anyone can submit information for review directly to local fact-checkers or visit their website to learn more about misinformation circulating in the region.” IFCN said.
World news – US – WhatsApp users can now fact-check COVID-19 messages – Here’s how