WhatsApp has launched a new service in India, Where 200 million users can report fake news, rumors and any kind of misleading information related to general elections.
The service is launched by PROTO, a media skilling start-up, the tip line will help create a database of rumors to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint — a research project commissioned by WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned company said in a statement.
People in India can submit fake news or any misleading information to +91-9643-000-888.
Digger Deep Media and Meedan, who have previously worked on misinformation-related projects around the world, are helping PROTO to develop the verification and research frameworks for India.
“The goal of this project is to study the misinformation phenomenon at scale — naively in WhatsApp,” said PROTO’s founders Ritvvij Parrikh and Nasr ul Hadi.
When a WhatsApp user reports a suspicious message with the tip line, PROTO’s verification center will seek to respond and inform the user if the claim made in the message shared is verified or not.
“The center can review rumors in the form of pictures, video links or text and will cover four regional languages including Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, and Malayalam, other than English,” said WhatsApp.
The response from a user will indicate if the information is classified as true, false, misleading, disputed or out of scope and include any other related information that is available.
Following this project, PROTO will submit learning to the International Center for Journalists to help other organizations learn from the design and operations of this project.
“The research from this initiative will help create a global benchmark for those wishing to tackle misinformation in their own markets,” said Fergus Bell, Founder, and CEO, Dig Deeper Media.