Full Fact WhatsApp Service to launch in the UK to prevent spread of misinformation
Fact or fiction?
In the midst of being thrown into a worldwide pandemic, it's safe to say we can all remember the maddening anxiety and collective meltdown we had as a nation when the big G announced the circuit breaker. And along with it came an increased reliance on our virtual lives: from televised news to social media — it was our only means of remaining connected with the world outside. But whilst some of our friend groups were quick to discern between fact and fiction, this new mode certainly gave rise to more viral, baseless news that more often than not — were false. And although most of it were probably perpetuated by some of our very own boomer relatives, many of us probably doubted ourselves and even believed some of those very convincing visuals.
So with COVID-19 clearly not going away anytime soon, the spread of misinformation about the pandemic — or anything else, really — is dangerous enough that WhatsApp has been introducing ways to provide fact-checking services.
Enter: Full Fact WhatsApp Service.
We're piloting a WhatsApp fact checking service.— Full Fact (@FullFact) October 1, 2020
If you get sent something that you're not sure of, you can forward it on to the Full Fact phone number and our team of independent, impartial fact checkers can look into it for you.https://t.co/7GLGesKFzR
Earlier this year, the social messaging giant had introduced the magnifying glass icon feature in certain countries: enabling a quick and efficient Google search of the information sent to group chats. But most recently, the UK's independent fact-checking charity is bringing something new to the table. You can now directly forward a message you received on a group chat to Full Fact, and the fact-checkers will verify its reliability and authenticity before getting back to you.
Although this service is new and currently contained to the UK for its pilot run, here's hoping it'll arrive on our shores one day... because from Trump to that one panic-buying boomer of an auntie, there's plenty of viral messages we're going to have so much pleasure calling out fake news. Sorry mum.