Misinformation and fake news are frequently spread through WhatsApp. Despite WhatsApp’s claims that it has installed several mechanisms to stop the spread of false information, users frequently get misleading messages with unreliable information. Thus, understanding how to validate the information you get over WhatsApp becomes crucial. It is also pertinent now, mainly because Ukraine is experiencing a catastrophic catastrophe due to Russia’s invasion, and state legislative assembly elections are taking place.
Up to 10 fact-checking organizations in India have made their tiplines available on WhatsApp to allow users to review the information they receive.
The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) verifies these tiplines, which may be used to validate potentially misleading information such as images, videos, and audio files. Up to 11 Indian languages, including Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, and Punjabi, are supported by most of them in addition to English.
The specific WhatsApp fact-checking tiplines listed below can be used to spot fake news and validate facts.
AFP: +91 95999 73984
Boom: +91 77009-06111 / +91 77009-06588
Fact Crescendo: +91 90490 53770
Factly: +91 92470 52470
India Today: +91 7370-007000
Newschecker: +91 99994 99044
News mobile: +91 11 7127 9799
Along with the hotlines mentioned above, IFCN also offers a dedicated WhatsApp chatbot that assists users in double-checking their information. It links users to impartial fact-checkers in more than 70 nations worldwide.
To verify their information, users must keep the phone numbers of the provided fact-checking hotlines in their contacts or click on their links, then WhatsApp “Hi” to them. When contacting them via the messaging app, most fact-checking hotlines also provide access to their most recent fact-checked content. The tiplines are chatbots, so it’s crucial to remember that they require some time to validate the data you provide them.
According to WhatsApp’s fact-checking guideline, users can use images, videos, voice calls, and text messages to verify possibly false information they have received. Here are the specifics on how they operate and may be used to confirm the information on messaging apps.
- AFP: Text messages, videos, and pictures may all have their veracity verified by calling the AFP Fact Check tip line. It allows users to read fact checks about the Ukraine war and subscribe to AFP’s newsletter in both English and Hindi.
- Boom: Like AFP, Boom FactCheck tipline is available in English and Hindi. Bengali can also be used. Users can validate their own images, videos, audio, and text. Additionally, it provides access to the most recent fact-checking articles from Boomlive and the Boom Newsletter.
- Fact Crescendo: In contrast to AFP and Boom, Fact Crescendo offers support for nine languages, including Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Odia, and Tamil. Additionally, it enables users to exchange text, images, and video content. The tipline provides access to its fact-checking content and the most recent updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and validating user information.
- Newsmobile: Similar to the other fact-checking hotlines, News mobile enables users to look at fact checks and search for the most recent ones. It also offers advice on how to combat false information.