Facebook-owned WhatsApp has launched a chatbot to stop the spread of misinformation in challenging times. The IFCN chatbot has been developed by Poynter Institute’s International Fact-checking network which earlier received an amount of $1 million to facilitate fact-checking on WhatsApp. Currently, the IFCN Chatbot is available in English, but soon other languages will be available in the chatbot. Marking the words of Ben Supple who is the Public Policy Manager and Global Election lead at WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned app sanctioned a grant to Poynter’s IFCN to facilitate fact-checking and verify the source of information and help the world to combat and eliminate COVID-19 misinformation.
IFCN Chatbot has been developed for WhatsApp Business, and it’s based on Turn.io Technology which is the impact tool for WhatsApp. The entire structure designed by Poynter’s IFCN is capable of identifying the country where the user is staying with the help of their phone country code and provide them with all the nearest fact-checking organisation. If the user is unsure about any information, they can submit the relevant information to the nearest fact-checking organisation. Also, they can visit the official website to update themselves with all the relevant information. The Chatbot developed for WhatsApp business will also help social teams to manage and scale personalised support.
WhatsApp users who want to activate the IFCN chatbot in their account should save +1 (727) 2912606 as contact number. Once the contact number is saved and is visible in WhatsApp contact, they have to send ‘Hi’ text message to get started.
WhatsApp has been doing everything to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation. Recently, WhatsApp reduced the limit of forwarded message to once contact. Since the entire world is facing the wrath of the deadly virus, fake information and misinformation are just adding to chaos and tension among the nation. It is also expected that IFCN might team up with government based fast check organisations to help public access real and accurate information. Some of the fact-checking partner IFCN has in India are the Digit Eye, Newschecker, Newsmobile and many more.