To help fight the spread of misinformation, a new WhatsApp bot has been released by the Facebook-owned chat app and Poynter International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) that can actually debunk myths and hoaxes about the Coronavirus.
First reported by TechCrunch, the bot is quite useful, as it’s able to check user questions across more than 100 independent fact-checkers to bring accurate information about COVID-19 and issues related to the pandemic. There’s a lot of misinformation on the virus out there, and too much of it is spread around social networks and chat apps. A bot like this can help quell arguments and show people which pieces of information are hoaxes and which are legitimate.
The bot can fact-check across all platforms including Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and so on. Currently, English is the only language supported by the fact-checking bot, but WhatsApp plans to translate it to Hindi, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Using the WhatsApp Coronavirus bot is quite easy. Users simply need to go to this website or add +1 (727) 2912606 to their contacts. From there, just text the word “hi” to the bot to get started. After that, you’ll need to reply with 1 in order to agree to the Coronavirus fact-checking. Next, you can send questions related to COVID-19 or type in certain keywords related to a topic.