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Fátima, short for Fact Machine, finds misinformation spreading online and jumps in with verified facts. People who have been alerted by Fátima that they were sharing false stories have corrected their posts and thanked the bot. Sometimes the creators of false stories themselves have taken down the misinformation.

Fátima uses a database of links to misinformation and corresponding debunkings updated by Brazilian media startup Aos Fatos. The bot periodically reads the database, then searches for tweets sharing the debunked stories. Fátima replies directly to the people sharing misinformation, preferencing Twitter users with high numbers of followers and original tweets. The bot randomly picks from a set of predetermined replies and includes a link to verified information.

Fátima tracks if its replies have impact, updating the database if Twitter users take down misinformation and like, reply and click on links to verified information.

Fátima is supported by the Google News Initiative. The tool is in Portuguese.

ICFJ Knight Fellow

International Center for Journalists