Full Fact launches a WhatsApp fact checking service in the UK

29 September 2020 | Full Fact team

Since the coronavirus pandemic began we’ve seen more and more harmful content coming to us via WhatsApp. 

In one case a viral voice message from someone who claimed to work for the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, made a number of claims about the “peak” of the new coronavirus outbreak, how ambulances will respond and what further lockdown measures the government plans to introduce. 

It spread like wildfire across WhatsApp, but the Ambulance Trust and Public Health England later said that the information in the voice recording is not correct and urged people not to share it.

So far this year we’ve also called out hoaxes and scams, and spoofed Unicef graphics. We know there are many more misleading claims out there.

That’s why we’re partnering with WhatsApp to create a Full Fact WhatsApp service. The next time you see something being shared on Whatsapp that you’re not sure of, you can forward it on directly to us, and we’ll fact check it for you. 

This helps us get a better picture of the kind of misinformation floating around WhatsApp too, so we can focus our efforts where it matters most. 

We’re testing this service as a pilot for the next 3 months, so hop onto WhatsApp and give it a try. 

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