Misinformation has emerged as the biggest problem of the current internet era. Amidst the coronavirus crisis, misinformation has become one of the greatest enemies.

So, to help fight misinformation on the world’s biggest instant messaging app, The Pointer Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network(IFCN) has just launched a chatbot that connects users with a consortium of fact-checking organizations around the world.

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The chatbot will help hundreds of millions of WhatsApp users check whether certain content has already been marked as false thus helping debunk myths.

The chatbot relies on the CoronavirusFacts database which to date has listed over 4000 hoaxes surrounding the virus outbreak. It also acts as a global directory of fact-checking organizations.

The database is updated on a daily basis thus offering the latest and relevant info.

Any WhatsApp user can submit information covid-19 related information for fact-checking. The chatbot will submit the info to the nearest fact-checking organization based on the sender’s mobile country code.

To use the chatbot, send “hi” to +1 (727) 2912606 or directly via this link. Currently, the chatbot is strictly available in English.  Two more languages will be added soon as well as more functionality.

“Hundreds of millions of users rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and families every day,” said IFCN director Baybars Orsek.

“Since bad actors use every single platform to disseminate falsehoods, to mislead others during such troubling times, fact-checkers’ work is more important than ever.”

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