Powered with data from over 70 countries, WhatsApp has launched a chatbot to help users fact-check COVID-19 information with ease.
WhatsApp, in partnership with International Fact-Checking Network, has launched a Chatbot to help bust COVID-19 hoaxes on the platform. A user can text ‘hi’ to +1 (727) 2912606, initiating the bot. It would lead them to a menu of options: Search for fact checks, Latest fact checks, Tips to fight misinformation, Find fact-checkers near me, About us and Privacy.
With the help of the user’s mobile number, the bot ascertains their country, helping provide relevant information. In case you wish to search in regards to a specific country, separate numbers are also made available by the platform. Users can use these resources to personally double-check the information that sounds suspicious or inaccurate.
The bot is powered by the fact-checking capabilities of over 100 independent fact-checkers in 70+ countries. Though the service is only available in English at the moment, it is expected to be expanded to Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese soon.
The Indian Government, as well as several state governments, have launched their own chatbots to help disseminate correct information about COVID-19, making it easy for people to fact-check in regional languages.