International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) has launched its COVID-19 related Fact Checking chatbot in Hindi language in India. This service has already been launched in English and Spanish. This COVID-19 fact checking chatbot of IFCN has been launched to curb fake news and rumors related to the coronavirus epidemic. Through this chatbot one can easily check the veracity of any post (articles, photos and videos). IFCN has collaborated with several independent fact checkers for CoronaVirusFacts.
Whatsapp has more than 400 million (40 crore) users in India, out of which more than 44 percent users understand Hindi language. Keeping this in mind, IFCN has decided to launch Fact Checking Chatbot in Hindi to prevent fake news related to the fast spreading COVID-19.
IFCN has 11 fact checking members in India, out of which seven are publishers who publish content in Hindi. Vishvas News, the fact-checking unit of Jagran New Media, is co-ordinating the translation with all of them. Whatsapp chatbot will take content in India from Vishvas News, Fact Crescendo, India Today, Newschecke, Boom Fact Check, News Mobile and The Quint. The IFCN Whatsapp chatbot has a data base of more than 250 fact checkers available, which is updated on a daily basis. For this, the same structure will be followed for English and Spanish chatbots.
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Since January this year, over 80 fact-checking institutions in 74 countries have identified more than 6,600 COVID-19 related fake posts. All this information is stored in IFCN’s CoronaVirusFacts database. IFCN’s chatbot is completely free to use, meaning that users will not have to pay any kind of subscription for its service. IFCN has issued a contact number +1 (727) 2912606 for this. Apart from this, you can also use this chatbot by clicking on this link. To use this Hindi fact checking chatbot’s service, the user has to type ‘Namaste’ on this number. After this it chats queries from chatbot users in Hindi. This chatbot has been trained with a very simple, small and numerical menu. Users can navigate through the text number after querying.
IFCN director Baybars Orsek said that while launching this service, every month crores of users use Whatsapp to stay connected with their friends and family. Since bad performers use every platform to mislead others and false propaganda during such a disaster, the work of Fact Checkers has become more important than ever. Since January, the CoronavirusFacts Alliance of IFCN has been using the capabilities of its fact checking community to investigate the veracity of fake news related to COVID-19 epidemics. This new Hindi chatbot of IFCN will help users to do fact check as well as connect to the fact checkers. This chatbot service will become a way to connect people with local fact checkers in a new way.
Ben Sappal, Whatsapp’s public policy manager and global election head, said, “Whatsapp recently gave Poodnter’s IFCN a nod. This is given to support the important work of their verified fact-checkers involved in fighting COVID-19 worldwide misinformation. We are happy that with the launch of this important service for Whatsapp users, we have been able to support this essential fact checking work of IFCN. Worldwide, more than 40 IFCN verified fact checkers are using the Whatsapp Business app to protect people in their countries from fake news related to coronaviruses. ‘
It is important to know here that this chatbot of IFCN is an easy way to send the fact check to Whatsapp users. It also gives users a way to search for fake checks related to the Korna virus and do a fact check from the database that has been revealed. The verified fact checkers listed in the IFCN bot directory can only be seen in the messages sent to them. They cannot view, monitor or delete other messages on Whatsapp, as all the messages on Whatsapp are private and protected with end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption means that only the person sending and receiving the message can see its content, no one else, not even Whatsapp.
The IFCN chat bot is built using the Turn.io technology on the Whatsapp Business API. This is the Whatsapp Impact Tool. Turn Social Impact helps the team to manage and scale personalized support. Integrated with the Whatsapp Business API, Turn Social Impact helps the team in personal and guided conversations that make life better.
Turn.io co-founder Gustav Preckellet said, “Misleading news can derail the way of necessary health support, and in bad circumstances it can also lead to behavior that increases the spread of the disease.” Many such things related to COVID-19 have still not been detected. In the AC situation, the challenge becomes more difficult, because viral speculation can also easily suppress the exact information we have. Providing this service in collaboration with Whatsapp and IFCN is like an invaluable service for different countries and communities and citizens in real time. With this, they will not only be able to know the questions of fact check, but will also be able to play their role in the revelation of false news.