Poynter Institute launched a bot on the Facebook -owned service that will allow people across the globe to debunk over 4,000 hoaxes surrounding the pandemic. It comes as an effort to battle misinformation being spread about the coronavirus.

The chatbot relies on information supplied by over 100 independent fact-checkers in more than 70 countries. It’s the largest database of debunked falsehoods related to COVID-19, said Poynter Institute. The service is currently available in English, but support for other languages including Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese are in the works, said WhatsApp.

How To Use WhatsApp’s New Coronavirus Fact-Checking Chatbot

Save the number +1 727 291 2606 to your phone. In WhatsApp, message the number “Hello.”  

An automatic message will pop up that reads: “Message us 24/7 to bust myths and check facts about COVID-19,  ” followed by a pretty simple numbered menu. 

“Hundreds of millions of users rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and families every day,” said Baybars Orsek, IFCN director. “Since bad actors use every single platform to disseminate falsehoods, to mislead others during such troubling times, fact checkers’ work is more important than ever.”

The chatbot was launched Monday by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies’ International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), and it’ll tell users whether information is false.

WhatsApp, which recently introduced new limit on forwarding messages on its app that has significantly cut down the number of forwards it sees on the platform.

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