WhatsApp's Tipline feature has received over 75,000 authentication requests: Report

WhatsApp's tipline feature was set up under a research project to combat fake news during the elections.

WhatsApp, in a bid to fight the rampant spread of misinformation on its platform, had unveiled an initiative known as Checkpoint Tipline last month.

The Facebook-owned company has now revealed that this initiative, in a span of close to two months, has received over 75,000 requests from people asking the company to authenticate messages they received.

WhatsApp's tipline initiative in India was set up as part of a research project to fight the misinformation drive ahead of the seven-phase polling for the general elections. The messaging platform had tied up with an Indian media skill startup called PROTO.

A logo of WhatsApp is pictured on a T-shirt worn by a WhatsApp-representative. Reuters

A logo of WhatsApp is pictured on a T-shirt worn by a WhatsApp-representative. Reuters

A WhatsApp spokesperson speaking to the Economic Times said, "The response on the tipline has been tremendous and has received over 75,000 claims since the launch, in five languages — Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, and English."

The tipline initiative essentially allowed people in India to send unverified messages they received on WhatsApp to a particular number to be cross-checked. One could simply forward the message in question to the number and have it cross-checked.

WhatsApp, while launching the feature had also said that news consultancy companies — Dig Deeper Media and San Francisco-based Meedan — which build digital tools for verification and fact-checking and have worked on projects like Electionland in the US and CrossCheck in France, were helping PROTO in developing the verification and research frameworks for India.

Following the project, PROTO also plans to submit learnings to the International Center for Journalists to help other organisations learn from the design and operations of this project.

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