To mark the international fact checking day, Dubawa, Nigeria’s independent verification and fact-checking platform, has unveiled a fact-checking service available to all users on WhatsApp.
The International Fact-Checking Day is promoted by the International Fact-Checking Network in partnership with fact-checking organizations around the world.
Fact-Checking Day is a rallying cry for more facts in politics, journalism, and everyday life.
Dubawa is an open source verification and fact-checking platform, developed and designed to sift through the barrage of information and stream out the truth.
It was initiated by the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism 2018, with the mission to institute a culture of truth and verification in public discourse and journalism through strategic partnerships between the media, government, civil society organizations, technology giants and the public.
Dubawa is a community for journalists, researchers, academics, policymakers and the general public to report, question and verify information posited not just by government and all its arms, agencies and parastatals but also claims by the media,” the Dubawa website states.
The new service will enable citizens become active players in the fight against fake news by sending unverified claims to the WhatsApp number where they will receive a verdict on the claim, the platform said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It has taken us a while to join the fact-checkers who use WhatsApp to combat misinformation because we wanted to study the platform and think about the best ways of achieving our aim in the Nigerian landscape,” programme officer Ebele Oputa said.
“We are ready now and very excited to engage with Nigerians and promote our content through the platform.”
Dubawa encouraged users to join the WhatsApp group (link will be live in 24 hours) and add the Dubawa WhatsApp number: 08069352412 to their contacts.
The account will also provide verified information on viral stories, create a group where every fact-check done by the team will be sent to.
Dubawa has trained newsrooms on fact-checking and has partnered with many organisations to deliver on its mandate.
In 2018, Dubawa conducted fact-checking training for three major newsrooms in Nigeria– News Agency of Nigeria with substantial reach across the 36 states in Nigeria, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, arguably the most listened to radio station in the country and the Daily Trust, which is both online and print media.
Daily Trust went on to create a fact-checking desk and has so far produced 31 fact-checked stories since 2018.
Also, in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Dubawa also conducted a training for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the 2019 elections.
In 2019, Dubawa partnered with Facebook to amplify its work and was whitelisted to beta test Google’s fact-checking tool.
Before, during and after the elections, Dubawa conducted 28 on-the-spot fact-checks, relying on field reporters to provide accurate information that could quell agitations and violence.
Regularly, Dubawa publishes fact-checks and articles on its website with the aim to inform the public and provide them with accurate information to make rational decisions.