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WhatsApp's COVID-19 fact-checking chatbot now gets Hindi language support

WhatsApp in collaboration with International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) had launched a chatbot on the messaging app to provide correct information about the coronavirus pandemic.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | June 12, 2020 | Updated 10:46 IST

Highlights

  • IFCN chatbot on WhatsApp gets Hindi language support
  • IFCN has partnered with several well-known media outlets in India including India Today, Vishvas News, Fact Crescendo
  • The chatbot will help users in verifying a piece of information they have received on the app

WhatsApp in collaboration with International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) had launched a chatbot on the messaging app to provide correct information about the coronavirus pandemic. The IFCN chatbot which was developed by the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) was launched to curb the spread of misinformation about COVID-19. But now the bot has got Hindi language support, it was earlier available only in English and Spanish languages.

With the IFCN chatbot getting Hindi language support, a lot of people across India who are oblivious to the English language will now have access to correct information about the coronavirus. IFCN has partnered with several well-known media outlets in India including India Today, Vishvas News, Fact Crescendo, Newschecker, Boom Fact Check, News Mobile, and The Quint.

The chatbot will help users verify whether a piece of information they have received on the app has been rated false by the professional fact-checker. IFCN updates the data regularly. "The Hindi version offers content from Vishvas News, Fact Crescendo, India Today, Newschecker, Boom Fact Check, News Mobile and The Quint. The database that feeds the system started with more than 250 fact-checks and will be updated daily following the same structure that has been established for the English and the Spanish chatbots. Since January, more than 80 fact-checking organizations from 74 countries have identified more than 6,600 hoaxes related to the novel coronavirus. All this information now forms the CoronaVirusFacts database., " the statement by IFCN read.

Here's how you can activate IFCN chatbot in Hindi

— Save the number +1 (727) 2912606 as your contact and send a text "" from WhatsApp to launch the chatbot.
—The other way of getting the chatbot started is by simply clicking on poy.nu/ifcnbot.

The chatbot will allow users to fact check a piece of information or check the latest fact-check done by the organizations. Users can also submit information for review directly in a fact-checking organization near them. This chatbot will help stay away from fake news about the coronavirus pandemic. Ever since the onslaught of coronavirus, many unverified claims about what caused the virus and how it can be cured using certain medicines have been doing the rounds. None of the treatments were suggested by WHO so none should be followed.

Earlier, talking about WhatsApp's collaboration with IFCN Ben Supple, public policy manager and global election lead at WhatsApp said, "WhatsApp recently provided a grant to Poynter's IFCN to support the valuable work of its verified signatories around the world in combating COVID-19 misinformation. We are very pleased to now be able to support IFCN's essential fact-checking work with the launch of this important service for WhatsApp users."

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