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COVID-19: WhatsApp Chatbot to help fight misinformation

Powered with data from over 70 countries, WhatsApp has launched a chatbot to help users fact-check COVID-19 information with ease.

WhatsApp, in partnership with International Fact-Checking Network, has launched a Chatbot to help bust COVID-19 hoaxes on the platform. A user can text ‘hi’ to +1 (727) 2912606, initiating the bot. It would lead them to a menu of options: Search for fact checks, Latest fact checks, Tips to fight misinformation, Find fact-checkers near me, About us and Privacy.

With the help of the user’s mobile number, the bot ascertains their country, helping provide relevant information. In case you wish to search in regards to a specific country, separate numbers are also made available by the platform. Users can use these resources to personally double-check the information that sounds suspicious or inaccurate.

The bot is powered by the fact-checking capabilities of over 100 independent fact-checkers in 70+ countries. Though the service is only available in English at the moment, it is expected to be expanded to Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese soon.

The Indian Government, as well as several state governments, have launched their own chatbots to help disseminate correct information about COVID-19, making it easy for people to fact-check in regional languages.

MyGovIndia @mygovindia

MyGov Corona Helpdesk launched on WhatsApp! Get relevant information by texting Namaste to 9013151515. Please share widely.#IndiaFightsCorona #HealthForAll #SwasthBharat #sankalpandsayyam 1,316 9:48 PM - Mar 19, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy 955 people are talking about this CMO Maharashtra @CMOMaharashtra

CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray today in his @Facebook live launched the “Government of Maharashtra’s interactive WhatsApp chatbot for COVID-19”#WarAgainstVirus 1,662 12:08 AM - Mar 25, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy 494 people are talking about this

CYBERABAD TRAFFIC POLICE సైబరాబాద్ ట్రాఫిక్ పోలీస్ @CYBTRAFFIC Telangana Government launches WhatsApp Chatbot on COVID-19 Link: https: … Number: 9000658658#TelanganaFightsCorona #CoronaUpdatesInIndia #StayHomeStaySafe 10 12:28 PM - Apr 7, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy See CYBERABAD TRAFFIC POLICE సైబరాబాద్ ట్రాఫిక్ పోలీస్'s other Tweets

Ashok Gehlot @ashokgehlot51

#Rajasthan government is launching a WhatsApp chatbot today to help & assist citizens against #CoronaPandemic. This first comprehensive chatbot of the state will provide important & state specific information about #coronavirus to people & health workers.#राजस्थान_सतर्क_है 1,435 9:39 PM - Apr 15, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy 464 people are talking about this

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