There’s no wonder how WhatsApp managed to achieve the staggering amount of 2 billion users worldwide. The Facebook-owned app has constantly been updated by its developers, and they’re not showing any signs that they plan to stop. While the internet is flooded with false claims about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, WhatsApp proposes a new method to get rid of them.
The Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network’s (IFCN) bot will be helping WhatsApp to detect fake news about the dreadful pandemic, as users can check if a claim is false or not. Professional fact-checkers had been dealing with lies about COVID-19, as they had been rated them as they are: LIES.
Free of charge
The magical bot will be free to use for WhatsApp users, and this should motivate people even more to use it. Everybody’s tired of news claiming that a treatment or vaccine against the new coronavirus was invented in a smelly basement by a guy with absolutely no medical degree. Also, claims such as those of people saying that they can cure the illness by some spooky method involving incantations are also annoying beyond belief.
The new bot responsible for detecting fake news related to the pandemic will first arrive as an English version. Later, availability in other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi will arrive as well.
The system is capable of identifying the user’s country via the mobile country code and then sharing the nearest fact-checking organizations. Anyone can submit information for review directly to local fact-checkers or visit their website to learn more about misinformation circulating in the region.
The new feature should already be available for some users, and it surely has a lot of work to do. COVID-19 hoaxes are something common, as a lot of people are OK with the idea of making traffic by exploiting others’ fears.