Technology / 3 new Brazilian partners fact-checking on WhatsApp
meedan new partners brazil

In time for the municipal elections across Brazil this past weekend, Meedan is pleased to announce three new Brazilian partners using our Check software for fact-checking on WhatsApp. They are: Estadão Verifica, an initiative of Estadão; Agência Lupa, and Fato ou Fake , by Globo Group. The latter initiative brings together journalists from G1, O Globo, Extra, Época, Valor, CBN, GloboNews and TV Globo.

Check is a tool for collaborative verification and annotation of digital media, with new features customized specifically for global fact-checking organizations. It’s been deployed by AFP (in Brazil and India), Africa Check, BOOM and India Today. These organization have been using Check since October 2019 across 4 languages and more than 180,000 submissions, including ongoing submissions today. Our case study on this program, called End-to-End Fact-Checking, details the insights, field research and product features that maximized the value of the WhatsApp API for fact checkers around the world; it’s name is a reference to the program’s ability to successfully fact-check on WhatsApp’s end-to-end encrypted platform.

Natália Leal, content director at Lupa agency explains the importance of Check, “This tool expands the scope of Lupa’s work, while at the same time bringing the agency closer to the public. It strengthens our monitoring of the false information environment and allows our reader another channel of communication with us. Thus, he has more access to verified information when making decisions that impact his life and society.”

And for Estadão’s, editor-in-chief David Friedlander, “Fake news deceives, misinforms and creates an atmosphere of confusion. That’s why professional journalism is so important. With it’s checking services, Estadão is dedicated to restoring the value of correct and reliable information”.

The new partners joined AFP Checamos, a pioneer in Brazil in the use of Check in their verification process on WhatsApp. “The tool has greatly improved the way we communicate with our WhatsApp audience,” said Maria Clara Pestre, AFP fact checker Checamos (Brazil). “Now, we can be sure that anyone who contacts us through the app will have an immediate and consistent response. At the same time, we have time to dedicate ourselves to the other steps in the verification process. ”

We adapted our toolkit to help fact-checkers focus on their work, not on technical tasks. This allowed teams to create their own workflows inside Check.

The platform has these main features:

  • It allows the verification teams, based on the demand of the newsroom, to create menus of interactive content (bots) using their messaging channels;
  • It imports the database of fact-checks from a journalistic organization, allowing them to send reports directly to the user of content that has already been verified.
  • It also allows the public to send content suggestion to be checked by journalists;

For our partner organizations, the bot is an essential communication channel to engage their audience, understand and scale the demand for specific topics and distribute important information in other messaging networks. When building these relationships, it is also an opportunity to develop interactive monitoring and evaluation surveys with end users to assess the behavioral impacts of fact checks.

Check enables a publishing system to send fact verification reports to users of direct channels (tiplines) who send duplicate or similar requests. “Our goal with Check,” explained Meedan’s Product Director, Pierre Conti, “is to build a human and AI system so that fact checkers can efficiently scale the demand for verification directly from the public, cut whatever just noise and thus maximize the impact of the checks. We do this to help verifiers prioritize the most relevant misinformation. ”

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