As the world has grappled with a pandemic and an infodemic, false information doesn’t just mislead people. It has real-world effects on health, such as on people’s health-seeking behavior.
As the Philippine presidential election nears, we’re seeing more false and misleading information than ever.
This is why VERA Files Fact Check is introducing VERA, a bot that can be your friend and ally in fighting disinformation and misinformation.
The VERA Files Misinformation Tip Line is the first-ever public misinformation tip line on Viber in the Asia Pacific region. Powered by technology from Meedan, VERA, the truth bot, guides users through the tip line.
We believe everybody can and should be a fact-checker. VERA, the #truthbot is a partner in this mission.
So, the next time you see a misinformation online, don’t hesitate to send it to VERA for fact-checking.
Who is VERA the truth bot, and what does it do?
VERA is a bot on Viber. It automates the chat interaction on the VERA Files Misinformation Tip Line where you can send photos, videos, links or tips for our team to fact check or verify.
We believe in the power that everyone has to contribute to the spread of truthful information. If you see a dubious post or statement that you’d like to get fact-checked, we encourage you to send it to our tip line.
Where can I see VERA?
In Viber’s search bar, you can type “VERA” or “VERA, the truth bot.”
How does VERA work?
VERA can help you with three things related to fact checking and online verification.
First, you can send VERA a tip, post, or claim that you would like to get fact-checked.
Second, you can stay updated with the latest posts and statements that have been verified by VERA Files Fact Check.
Third, you can learn how to do fact checking through the tutorials that VERA will send your way.
What will happen to the tips that I send?
The tips you’ll send to our misinformation tip line will be vetted by the VERA Files Fact Check team.
We have three-point criteria to determine whether a post or remark is eligible for fact checking. All three questions need to be answered with a ‘YES’:
- Is it a statement of fact, and not an opinion?
- Can it be fact-checked using readily available resources such as government records, journal articles, expert interviews, and the like?
- Is it relevant, and does it have a bearing on the public?
For online misinformation and disinformation, we also consider its virality, such as whether it has reached a wide range of people or it has been published by several accounts or pages on social media. We do this to avoid amplifying the piece of mis- or disinformation.
Read this explainer on our fact checking process.
Will VERA Files publish a fact check article on the photo, video, link, or tip that I sent?
It’s possible! After we fact check tips that are eligible for verification, we send a copy of the FACT CHECK ARTICLE to the requesting individual as well as other people who have the same query.
We indicate in our stories that these fact checks are READER REQUESTED. But don’t worry. We value your safety, security and sensitive information. We never name in our stories the individuals who send us fact check requests.