Use Chatbox on Whatsapp to Check Hoax Information

Use Chatbox on Whatsapp to Check Hoax Information – In the digital era, the spread of hoaxes has become very massive. Hoaxes are usually spread by taking advantage of the momentum and even disasters such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hoaxes related to Covid-19 do not only occur in Indonesia, but also globally and spread to other countries. For example, developed countries like England, once dozens of 5G towers were burned because they were believed to be spreading the corona virus.

Unfortunately, the Chairman of the Mafindo Presidium, Septiaji Eko Nugroho, said that Indonesia has become a country that is quite massive due to the spread of Covid-19 hoaxes. "From research taken from various countries from February to April 2020, we are ranked 5th in the world for spreading hoaxes, stigma and conspiracy theories," said the man who is usually called Zack, during a virtual press conference, Tuesday (26/1/2021 ).

"We recorded 83 hoaxes related to vaccines. The virality is quite high, because 40% is related to safety and efficacy issues," he added.

Zack explained, if information has an element of fear, it's usually easy to make people curious and spread it. According to him, this kind of thing can be found in people who lack critical thinking.

He gave an example, there was an issue that doctors in Sumatra died after being vaccinated. Then the Regent of Sleman, after being vaccinated, was positive for Corona. Much of this kind of information is incomplete but easily spreads on Indonesian social media.

"The intention may be good to share knowledge and awareness, but if it is not investigated first, it can be misleading and dangerous," he said. To find out a hoax, Zack suggested that the public look critically at any information that appears on social media and not from sites that have credibility. Currently, there have been various efforts from fact-checking channels. The government has a fact-finding website through the Ministry of Communication and Information. "We from Mafindo also manage the sites and, which work with 24 online media," explained Zack.

WhatsApp chatbots

In addition to the methods above, previously Mafindo has also launched a chatbot on WhatsApp to verify the truth of information. This chatbot has many features to make it easier to use. "There are more than 6,000 databases stored in the chatbot. The contents are related to political, social, disaster, health issues, and many more," said Zack, during the launch of the chatbot, last November. How to use it is very easy. Users only need to save the number 0859-2160-0500. Then open the WhatsApp application, and send a message to the number with the desired keywords.

It didn't take long, the chatbot account immediately replied with five choices. 1. Check Hoaxes, 2. Check Latest Facts, 3. Tips & tricks to fight hoaxes, 4. About us, 5. Privacy.

After that, the user only has to choose one of these menus by typing the number, then pressing the send button. In addition to typing keywords, users can also forward messages that they want to check.

"We will present 5 findings with the highest accuracy from our hoax database," wrote the chatbot account.

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