Client Stories

Maldita: "tools to keep citizens away from misinformation".

Maldita.es is a non-profit organization whose aim is to provide citizens with tools to keep them away from misinformation.


Maldita Hemeroteca, Maldito Bulo, Maldita Ciencia, and Maldito Dato focus on the control of misinformation through fact-checking techniques. Since 2017 they have been part of the International Fact-Checking Network as signatories of its Code of Principles and are the only Spanish media that formed part of the European Commission's High-Level Group on fake news and disinformation in 2018.

The technology behind the scenes that allow this massive user interaction for the purpose of truth, is based in Coloq.io - the conversational AI platform built-in Wealize's product studio.

Coloq.io is a service platform that delivers branded conversational experiences in multiple channels using advanced NLP while reducing infrastructure costs.

The three main components of coloq.io are:

  • Conversational proxy: multichannel by design and API accesible.
  • Conversational manager: conversation auditing and metrics dashboard.
  • Conversational design: principal NLP players like IBM Watson Assistant or Google Dialogflow.

Maldita's bot has been crucial to serve Maldita.es' community and provide, from journalism, a public service in the face of the increase in misinformation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

The Chatbot for WhatsApp involves the work of the entire Maldita.es staff and is a perfect match between journalism and technology focused on user service in a close, easy and user purposed way, since WhatsApp is one of the most used information channels in Europe.

The tool works with a natural language response model for users that, in addition to responding to users, allows data around disinformation to be collected, classified, tracked and analysed to study the spread and operating of misinformation. Maldita.es does not collect user data, only content data.

The chatbot is capable of detecting and responding to disinformation reports in all formats: videos, audio, text and images – that it interprets and sends fact-checked responses.

This has enabled Maldita.es journalists to better serve the community and to be more efficient in the public service they provide. This tool is proof that technology can bring us closer and make journalism help the population and according to WhatsApp itself is the better fact-checking WhatsApp chatbot developed worldwide.

The Challenges

We are in the era of information and Maldita's mission is to combat misinformation with technology. That is why they act as a bridge between journalists or fact-checkers, and the information circulating on the internet.

Maldita owned a website, a WhatsApp channel, and an internal platform for information management and fac- check of fake news. At that point, online verification was served by an API, but Whatsapp management was done manually. Journalists at Maldita wrote down the query manually on their platform and answered each user individually limiting the user experience.

Now, why WhatsApp? During the last years, WhatsApp has become the central channel for several countries like Spain to read news and establish customer engagement.

use of whatsapp

We definitely had to handle this user ocean in order to apply the fact-checker system in the population at the most used social network, with the help of technology.

Our Solution

Using Coloq.io, we co-designed a conversational dialog and deployed it into the WhatsApp channel interacting with fact-check's endpoint connected via API and lambda functions.

The result?

+16k fake news checked in during the launch

Maldita's bot could register potential fake news sent by users (text, audio, or video) gathered through WhatsApp, checking at several information resources (operating fact-checker) and responding to support users, journalist, and end-users, using NLP.

maldita copia

What's in for Maldita's bot now? During the latest time, we've worked together with Maldita's team to scale their conversational ecosystem into new channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Web.

Apart from it, taking into account Maldita's bot is fully integrated with their operative work, we have updated their conversational manager interface including new workflows, metrics and other features.

maldita_dashboard

What's next for Maldita's bot? Who knows. As information grows in this world, so disinformation does as well; so we'll keep strengthening fake news together to combat disinformation.

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