How Newsrooms Can Use WhatsApp to Combat Fake News


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How Newsrooms Can Use WhatsApp to Combat Fake News

Using WhatsApp to debunk hoaxes

Type: Webinar

Broadcast Date: March 20, 2019 at 2 p.m. Eastern

Time Estimate: One hour


SKU: NUWEB04-19 Category: Tag:


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BROADCAST DATE: March 20, 2019 at 2 p.m. Eastern

On WhatsApp, a messaging app popular in countries like Brazil and India, rumors spread like wildfire. For journalists and fact-checkers, it can be hard to identify when hoaxes go viral, since communication on the platform is encrypted and there are no monitoring tools to observe activity on the app.

One strategy fact-checking organizations have established is to set up tip lines that enable readers to submit the false messages they receive. This direct form of communication with the audience has also been useful to share fact-checks and improve relationships with readers.

In this webinar, you will learn about how Estadão Verifica, a fact-checking arm of the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, used a WhatsApp tip line during the 2018 election. In a little more than six months, it received more than 125,000 messages. You will also learn about some of the difficulties of working with the app and tips on organizing and monitoring messages.

What will I learn?

  • How to use WhatsApp’s Business app to create an institutional account for your newsroom
  • Real-world lessons about using tip lines to fact-check big events
  • How to organize messages and contacts on WhatsApp to optimize your operation
  • Suggestions on how to share fact checks and articles with your contacts
  • The main challenges of working with the WhatsApp Business app


Who should take this course?

Journalists or fact-checkers that monitor hoaxes. Additionally, journalists and producers who are interested in cultivating audiences on alternative social media platforms will be inspired.

Alessandra Monnerat

Alessandra Monnerat is a reporter for Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo. She works primarily at Estadão Verifica fact-checking hoaxes and writing about misinformation. She also collaborates with Knight Center’s blog, Journalism in the Americas.

Yasodara Cordova

Yaso is an activist, researcher, developer and designer. She is currently affiliate at Berkman Klein Center at Harvard and a fellow at Digital Harvard Kennedy School, where she works on technologies to bootstrap democracy, using open data, privacy, online identity and blockchain.