Chatbot on WhatsApp verifies information in real time


During the period when the new coronavirus is spreading around the world it is common to come across several news on the subject. While some are true – and quite pertinent – others can be totally false and cause several problems related to misinformation.

With that in mind, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) created today, August 4, a chatbot – which is available in Portuguese in Brazil and Portugal – that will allow WhatsApp users to verify whether certain information circulating about the new coronavirus is true or false.

To do this, just send a word to the “robot” on WhatsApp, and it will automatically return some link options from articles that have checked the information in question to check its veracity.

To start interacting with the chatbot, simply add the number +1 (727) 291 2606 to the contact list of the smartphone and send a “hi” to start the conversation. Users also have the option to click on this link to open a direct conversation with him. After starting the interaction, the user will be able to select among some options that the application offers to verify the information.

With this, users will be able to see if a news item has already been classified as “false”, “partially false”, “misleading” or “without evidence” by professional verifiers.

In addition to Brazil and Portugal, the chatbot – which belongs to the Poynter Institute – is available to over 70 countries in Hindi, English and Spanish. The Portuguese version is a partnership between IFCN and the Rio de Janeiro Institute of Technology and Society (ITS Rio).

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It is worth remembering that, thinking about combating misinformation, WhatsApp this week launched a feature that allows you to verify the authenticity of news sent within the application.


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