Checkbot educates and warns. It never tells the truth

Nearly one half of Slovaks tend to believe disinformation.

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Checkbot from Slovakia, running on Facebook Messenger from March 2019, aims to educate Slovaks about and warn them against disinformationCheckbot from Slovakia, running on Facebook Messenger from March 2019, aims to educate Slovaks about and warn them against disinformation (Source: Checkbot)

A glossary of words is also published online.

“Hi, I am Checkbot, and I will help you uncover rubbish on the Internet,” a brown-haired young boy wearing glasses and a blue-and-white T-shirt with an illuminati-like logo introduces himself.

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The boy is a bot. The Seesame PR agency launched this somewhat humanised tool as a means of chatting with Slovaks on Facebook at the end of March 2019 in response to Facebook’s poor reaction to fake news.

It never tells you whether it is true or not; it just helps you decide for yourself.

Seesame PR expert Dávid Benedig

The Collins dictionary defines fake news as “false, often sensational information disseminated under the guise of news reporting”, and proclaimed it the word of the year in 2017. The Slovak internet faced the first large-scale disinformation campaign after the war in Ukraine started in 2014, and the campaigns have continued ever since.

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