The WhatsApp-supported project, called Confirma 2022, breaks new ground in Meedan’s decade-long record of election collaboration. The Confirma 2022 initiative provides Brazil’s non-partisan election authority, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), with the ability to distribute trusted fact-checks from news partners to the voting public through a WhatsApp bot.
TSE’s WhatsApp bot (+55 61 9637-1078) is used by millions of Brazilian users every month to access critical information on the voting process. With Confirma 2022, bot users can now ask questions that surface fact-checks by the Confirma coalition. Soon users will be able to receive notifications when fact-checkers produce information on new, unchecked claims.
Fact-checking partners also distribute their information to audiences through their newsroom WhatsApp lines. Overall, Meedan’s work with partners in Brazil resulted in more than 64,000 conversations with WhatsApp users and distributed more than 15,000 fact-checks across five Brazilian tiplines.
Confirma 2022 builds on our previous work with Rappler during the Philippines presidential election, during which Meedan brought together civil society and mainstream media to fact-check content in messaging apps. FactsFirstPH in the Philippines was named the “Most Innovative and Impactful Collaboration” of the year by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
Now, in addition to software solutions Meedan’s Brazilian partners received training on mental health and harassment, delivered by Meedan’s content moderation and mental health expert Kat Lo. Research led by Meedan will also analyze anonymous tipline content in order to better understand WhatsApp misinformation trends.
“This project marks an important step forward in Meedan’s capacity to support coalitions of fact-checkers through software. Not only is this shared feed helping journalists reach out to and inform a large, new audience, it also helps fact-checkers better understand misinformation trends by collecting queries from their new audiences.”
– Pierre Conti, Director of Product, Meedan
"In Brazil democracy is under attack, and misinformation is used as a weapon. It is very important to be able to count on this international partnership to contribute to preserving the integrity of our elections."
– Daniel Bramatti, Editoria Política - Estadão Dados
"The TSE feed helped us to draw a more accurate picture of the demands that voters have on the eve of a vote that tends to be decisive in the country’s history"
– Helio Miguel, Editor, Projeto Comprova
For more information about Meedan’s upcoming work on elections, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for ways to work with our programmatic initiatives and journalism software.
- Online conversations are heavily influenced by news coverage, like the 2022 Supreme Court decision on abortion. The relationship is less clear between big breaking news and specific increases in online misinformation.
- The tweets analyzed were a random sample qualitatively coded as “misinformation” or “not misinformation” by two qualitative coders trained in public health and internet studies.
- This method used Twitter’s historical search API
- The peak was a significant outlier compared to days before it using Grubbs' test for outliers for Chemical Abortion (p<0.2 for the decision; p<0.003 for the leak) and Herbal Abortion (p<0.001 for the decision and leak).
- All our searches were case insensitive and could match substrings; so, “revers” matches “reverse”, “reversal”, etc.