International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) on Thursday launched the Hindi version of its global fact-checking Covid-19 chatbot for WhatsApp in India. The Hindi chatbot sources its content from Vishvas News, Fact Crescendo, India Today, Newschecker, Boom Fact Check, News Mobile and The Quint. The database available in Hindi has started with more than 250 fact-checks and will be updated daily.
The IFCN’s chatbot is a free to use service on WhatsApp. To enable the chatbot, user need to save +1 (727) 2912606 as a contact number. To initiate the fact check process, user need to open the chat and send a message “नमस्ते” to get the Hindi bot started. Alternatively, users can click here to start the conversation.
“The new IFCN chatbot in Hindi will allow users to search for fact checks and get connected with fact-checkers from their smartphones. The chatbot will also serve as a way to direct people to their local fact-checkers’ websites,” said Baybars Orsek, IFCN’s Director said in a statement.
The service, previously available in English and Spanish, was developed to combat misinformation with regard to coronavirus pandemic. It allows people to easily check whether information about the coronavirus was classified as false by any of the independent fact-checkers in the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, coordinated by the IFCN.
“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. There are now more than 40 IFCN-verified fact-checkers around the world that are using the WhatsApp Business app to debunk coronavirus hoaxes for citizens in their respective countries,” said Ben Supple, Public Policy Manager & Global Election Lead at WhatsApp.