Express News Service
In mid-March, the news that ‘not linking PAN and Aadhaar by March 31, 2021, will attract a fine of Rs 10,000’ and ‘the ship that got stuck in Suez Canal blew the soundtrack of Dhoom’ went viral.
However, while we shared it on WhatsApp, Telegram, and social media, a few tech-savvy users took the trouble to send it to WhatsApp number 9247052470, and in less than 180 minutes, Factly concluded that both news pieces were false.
Factly is a Hyderabad-based public information and media tech initiative known for data journalism and one of the third-party fact-checking partners for Facebook in India, who that is now the go-to website to check whether or not a news report authentic.
Says Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Founder of Factly, “That we got three requests to fact check the news about a girl urinating in a Brahmin house and getting beaten up, was true or false, shows that users have started questioning ridiculous news. We have generated 3,000 reports since our inception nine months, and that users are coming back, is a positive sign of being conscious of news shared.”
Currently, the team gets about 20 to 25 requests for fact-checking a day. The team uses human intellect augmented by Artificial Intelligence, thorough background research on WhatsApp Business API in collaboration with Meedan, a global tech software used to strengthen journalism and digital literacy. Got news you are not sure of? WhatsApp it to 9247052470 and share after you are sure of its veracity.
Talking of fake news and fabricated stories takes us to Wattpad, a global community of 90 million readers and writers who are communicating through stories. Explaining about this writer’s platform, Devashish Sharma, India Country Manager of the platform says, “Wattpad ties to bring a data-backed, audience-first approach to India’s media, entertainment, and publishing industries. We want to work with everyone in the entertainment and publishing industries to find new Indian voices for every medium.
It’s only a matter of time before the next global book, TV, or movie sensation starts on Wattpad from a writer right here in India.” The platform is now hosting the Wattpad India Awards 2021, their annual writing contest celebrating diverse, creative, and empowering stories from Indian writers in October 2021 with prizes up to one lakh to give out. In addition to that, winners will also be considered for other opportunities on Wattpad, like Wattpad Paid Stories, Wattpad Stars, and Wattpad Studios, Sharma adds.