Ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Whatsapp on Tuesday launched a new service called ‘tipline’ in India. The new extension allows the users to submit possible rumours and misinformation for fake news fact check.

Whatsapp is working with PROTO, an India-based media skill startup, for the verification and helpline.

“When a WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, PROTO’s verification center will seek to respond and inform the user if the claim made in message shared is verified or not,” the company explained.

According to the official statement by the Facebook-owned messaging platform, “People in India can now submit uncertain information or rumours they have received to the Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp +91-9643-000-888.”

The response, reportedly, will indicate the validity of the information. It will classify the message as true, false, misleading, disputed or out of scope.

The response will also include any other related information that is available.

“This center 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.”

According to the statement, PROTO will also encourage grass-roots organisations to submit rumours circulating across the country during the upcoming General Elections.

The new intiative is expected to create a database of rumours. The recorded data will be used to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint.

Checkpoint is a research project commissioned and technically assisted by WhatsApp.

Earlier last week, reports claimed that Whatsapp has been looking at a new tool that labels repeatedly sent messages as “frequently forwarded” if they have been already shared five or more times.


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