GENERAL

WHATSAPP CHATBOT FEATURE BEING DEVELOPED TO COMBAT FAKE NEWS - FAHMI

09/05/2024 04:09 PM

HULU SELANGOR, May 9 (Bernama) -- The Communications Ministry, in collaboration with Meta Platforms Inc (Meta), is in the process of developing a WhatsApp Chatbot feature set to be launched by the end of this month.

Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the Chatbot feature will serve as a platform for users to verify the authenticity of information shared on the WhatsApp application.

He mentioned that he has personally tested the feature and is satisfied with its performance but noted that certain technical aspects need to be finalised with Meta before it can be launched.

“We are developing this feature because many fake news and defamatory content are being spread via WhatsApp. So, we opted to integrate a solution within the application itself. Users will be able to engage with the Chatbot to verify the authenticity of messages received and can expect feedback within one or two minutes.

“For the verification responses by the Chatbot, we are utilising reports from the JomCheck group, which involves several non-governmental organisations, including MyCheck from Bernama (Malaysian National News Agency), which have very high standards,” he told reporters after the Network and Infrastructure Partnership Framework soft launch here today.

Also present were the ministry’s senior undersecretary (management) Mazlan Abd Mutalib and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chief development officer Azizi A. Hadi.

Fahmi, who is also the Unity Government’s spokesperson, said he would ensure that the WhatsApp Chatbot facility is capable of providing responses and feedback to users’ inquiries in multiple languages ​​including Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil.

“However, at this point, the WhatsApp Chatbot is only text-based...meaning if we send documents, videos or images, it does not yet have the ability to check and verify them, but I hope it can do that in the future,” he said.

Regarding the event, Fahmi said that six mobile network operators (MNOs) have agreed to a network and infrastructure-sharing framework to provide enhanced and comprehensive coverage to users.

The six MNOs involved are CelcomDigi (two separate networks), Maxis, U Mobile, Telekom Malaysia, and YTL Communications.

“A total of 102 towers have been identified in seven main areas that will have equal coverage by six MNOs, including highways, public universities, hospitals, stadiums, tourist attraction areas, military camps, police quarters, and celebration areas.

“Currently, progress stands at over 70 per cent. In Kuala Kubu Baharu alone, nine towers have been identified, with five sharing networks among MNOs,” he said.

According to Fahmi, over the period of six to 12 months after today’s event, the MNOs will undertake testing of the implementation model within the framework on live networks at five identified locations.

Meanwhile, Fahmi mentioned that the ministry is also in discussions with telecommunication companies to establish a RAHMAH 5G plan initiative tailored for students in the country.

-- BERNAMA


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