Meta to Launch Fact-Checking Helpline on WhatsApp to Combat AI-Generated Deepfakes

New Delhi|UPDATED: Feb 20, 2024 17:27 IST

Meta, the parent company of popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has announced a collaboration with the Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA) to introduce a new tool – a fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp.

Scheduled for launch in March 2024, the fact-checking helpline aims to empower users to report and flag misleading AI-generated media, commonly referred to as deepfakes, which have the potential to deceive individuals on matters of public importance.

The initiative, announced by the Misinformation Combat Alliance, underscores the urgency of addressing the escalating spread of deepfakes and AI-generated misinformation. Through collaborative efforts with member fact-checking organizations, industry partners, and digital labs, the helpline will serve as a vital tool in detecting, preventing, and reporting instances of misinformation.

“We will work closely with member fact-checking organizations as well as industry partners and digital labs to assess and verify the content and respond to the messages accordingly, debunking false claims and misinformation,” said MCA in an official statement.

Meta’s role in this initiative involves the development of a WhatsApp chatbot to facilitate user submissions, while the Misinformation Combat Alliance is establishing a central unit for deepfake analysis. This dedicated Deepfakes Analysis Unit (DAU) will handle all messages received through the helpline, ensuring prompt and effective action against misinformation.

Bharat Gupta, president of the Misinformation Combat Alliance, emphasized the critical importance of the Deepfakes Analysis Unit in curbing the spread of AI-enabled disinformation among social media and internet users.

In addition to the fact-checking helpline, Meta has recently announced plans to label AI-generated images across its platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Threads. This proactive measure aims to assist users in distinguishing between real and synthetic photos, providing transparency in content consumption and mitigating the impact of AI-generated misinformation.

As social media platforms continue to grapple with the challenge of misinformation, initiatives like the fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp represent a significant step towards fostering a safer and more trustworthy online environment. With the combined efforts of tech companies, industry partners, and fact-checking organizations, combating the spread of deepfakes and AI-generated misinformation remains a top priority in safeguarding digital integrity and promoting informed discourse.

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