MessengerPeople collaborates with WhatsApp to prevent the spread of misinformation
With “ThatsFact”, German-based software company MessengerPeople has developed a digital solution for fact-checking via the official WhatsApp Business API. The tool enables verified signatories of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), NGOs and media companies to use WhatsApp to determine whether information is factually true or false. Over 15,000 requests have already been checked for truthfulness via “ThatsFact”.
Munich, Germany, October 22, 2020 – Munich-based messenger service and chatbot specialist MessengerPeople launched “ThatsFact” – a software solution specially developed for fact checking on the messaging platform WhatsApp. “ThatsFact” was created as part of a WhatsApp initiative to reduce misinformation on the end to end encrypted messaging platform.
Giving people simple ways to get accurate, official sources of information has never been more important than in recent months. MessengerPeople’s ThatsFact software provides an easy way for people to submit WhatsApp messages to verified fact checkers for review, and for them to debunk any falsehoods that they find. Fact checking solutions like these are one of the most important ways of tackling the global challenge of misinformation.
Louis Moynihan, Product Business Development, WhatsApp
Against Misinformation and Fake News
Among the first users of the software are various international IFCN verified signatory organizations, including Fact Crescendo and Newschecker (India), Newtral (Spain) and another from UK. Since June 2020, more than 15,000 requests have been reviewed and reported via “ThatsFact”.
Because WhatsApp is the first point of contact for most users, suspicious content is reported more quickly. This helps us contain misinformation before it spreads to other platforms.
Rahul Namboori, co-founder of Fact Crescendo
The software solution “ThatsFact” was developed by MessengerPeople specifically for the needs of fact-checking organizations. It enables teams to process inquiries about the truth of information via WhatsApp in a professional, scalable manner and in line with common data protection guidelines. All requests are protected by the official WhatsApp Business API.
More than 65 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp every day – including, unfortunately, some messages which contain false or incorrect information. With ‘ThatsFact’, we offer fact-checking organizations and media companies an efficient solution that allows them to fact check and identify misinformation to stop it being shared as fact.
Franz Buchenberger, MessengerPeople founder
“News from a reputable source”
Some media companies have also set up their own departments for fact checking (e.g. in Germany dpa-Faktencheck, ARD faktenfinder). “These initiatives could be expanded in the future,” Buchenberger believes. “Publishing and news companies live on the trust of their users and their perception as a serious source. With ‘ThatsFact’, media brands can also offer interested readers a professional fact checking service. ”
“ThatsFact” in practice
ThatsFact is very user friendly for our employees. Constructive cooperation has resulted in a great software product that enables quick Fact Checking.
Rahul Namboori, co-founder of Fact Crescendo
“ThatsFact” is a browser-based software that is based on MessengerPeople’s cross-industry software solution, the Messenger Communication Platform connected with the WhatsApp Business API. Fact-checking organizations use “ThatsFact” to receive all WhatsApp messages centrally in one interface. The tool qualifies each incoming message and shows the Fact Checker keywords related to the topic of the request. Text, links, images, and videos are analysed: Images and videos are automatically compared to determine whether the content is the original or from an edited source.
For scalable and efficient fact-checking, the software solution also recognizes recurring topics. In the case of queries on the same topic, relevant suggestions for answers are made based on previous answers or content previously entered to the research database (e.g. via RSS feeds). “In this way, queries can be answered much more quickly and not every request has to be researched again,” says Buchenberger. A statistics dashboard provides, among other things, an overview of the number of inquiries, the status of processing and the distribution of inquiries to the individual fact checkers.
More about “ThatsFact” – the MessengerPeople Fact Checker Solution: Factchecking.MessengerPeople.dev
Picture material for press for download: https://www.msgp.pl/IhLNVU
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