International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) launched a new WhatsApp bot last month with the aim to offer relevant and true information about the COVID-19 crisis. The bot was launched to curb the spread of misinformation on WhatsApp, and now the bot has expanded its language support to include Hindi into the mix. Earlier, it only supported English and Spanish languages. Seven fact-checking members from India offer content in Hindi for users who prefer the local language. This includes Jagran Group’s fact-checking unit Vishvas News and Fact Crescendo.
IFCN WhatsApp chatbot has introduced support for the Hindi language to help non-English speaking audience gain access to its COVID-19 information service. In India, IFCN has partnered with several fact-checking members and seven of them publish content in Hindi. This includes Vishvas News, Fact Crescendo, India Today, Newschecker, Boom Fact Check, News Mobile, and The Quint.
To start the IFCN Hindi WhatsApp bot, users will have to save the number +1 (727) 2912606 in their Contact list. Then, head to the contact in WhatsApp, and text the word “नमस्ते” to get the Hindi bot started. User could just click on this web link to get started as well.
The chatbot offers several options like searching for fact checks, latest fact checks, tips to fight misinformation, find fact-checkers near me, and more. The Hindi chatbot works just like the English one, and it lets you search for fact checks by typing in keywords, or just browse the latest fact-checks done by partnered organisations. You could also look at all the fact-checking organisations near you and use them to submit a piece of information for review directly and learn more about what has been circulating in the region.
This bot was created to help people check whether information related to coronavirus is true or false. It helps users separate facts from myths by collating data from authorised fact-checking organisations across the globe.
IFCN notes that the database available in Hindi starts with more than 250 fact-checks and will be updated daily – following the same structure as the English and the Spanish chatbots. The umbrella IFCN organisation shelters 80 fact-checking agencies from over 74 countries and has identified more than 6,600 hoaxes related to the novel coronavirus since January.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
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