- WhatsApp launches Chatbot which will provide the latest information, tips to fight against misinformation and even find fact-checkers near you pertaining COVID-19
- The Chatbot will only work for COVID-19 related information
Facebook owned WhatsApp which is the world’s most used messaging application has significantly helped people around the globe during the lockdown phase, however, the instant messaging application is a victim of people using it to spread misinformation.
The company has taken many steps to minimise this issue and one such step is the introduction of a Chatbot which will be focused on busting myths surrounding and spreading on Coronavirus.
WhatsApp is partnering with the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) of the Poynter Institute to introduce a simple yet effective tool within the messaging application.
As of now, the tool does not support any language other than English, however,m the company is claiming that they are working on adding more languages including Hindinas well. Meanwhile, users can ask for a fact-checker which are close to them through the Chatbot which will then provide support in various native languages such as Urdu, Marathi, and Telugu.
In order for anyone to use the new Chatbot, a WhatsApp user can either save this number +1 727-291-2606 or simply click on the link from the device which has WhatsApp installed on it already. Once the number is saved, the user will only have to send ‘Hi” on that chat to launch the various option available on the chatbot.
Getting information gets as simple as entering a numerical character in the chat following which the Chatbot will provide assistance.
Within the “Search for fact checks” option which will be the first ption on the screen, a user can either type a keyword specific to the information he/ she seeks or even write a short sentence. The chat will then bring up 2 recent fact-checked pieces of information along with a link to the organisations’ page who did the fact-check.
Apart from this, a user will also get a statement answering whether the information which is in circulation is true or a lie. In addition, the Chatbot will also provide the user with a list of the latest fact-checks, tips to counter misinformation and even the fact-checkers near your location.
What holds even greater importance is that a user must know that this feature is only available for information related to the novel Coronavirus as of now. The CoronaVirusFacts Alliance group of more than 100 fact-checkers from all over the globe are coming together to provide serious information is the simplest format available.