WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging platform on Tuesday launched a service in India where over 200 million users will be able to tip off fake news and rumours related to elections. The Facebook-owned company said in a statement that the platform has been launched by PROTO, a media skilling start-up by which the tipline will help in creating a database of rumours to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint that is a research project commissioned by WhatsApp.
People will be able to submit misinformation or rumours to the 'Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp' at +91-9643-000-888.
Dig Deeper Media and Meedan that previously had worked on misinformation-related projects around the world are helping PROTO to develop the verification and research frameworks for India.
PROTO's founders Ritvvij Parrikh and Nasr ul Hadi said, "The goal of this project is to study the misinformation phenomenon at scale -- natively in WhatsApp".
As soon as the WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, PROTO's verification centre will go on to seek a response and inform the user if the claim made in the message shared is verified or not.
The response will show if the information is classified as true, misleading, false, disputed or out of scope and include any other information related to it is available.
WhatsApp said, "The centre can review rumours in the form of pictures, video links or text and will cover four regional languages including Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam, other than English".
Followed with the project, PROTO aims at submitting learnings to the International Centre for Journalists that will help other organisations to learn from the design and operations of the project.
Fergus Bell, Founder and CEO, Dig Deeper Media said, "The research from this initiative will help create a global benchmark for those wishing to tackle misinformation in their own markets".
(With IANS inputs)