💊 Recently, the world is paying the most attention to developments in the epidemic situation. From medical care to public health policy, it has been the subject of much attention. With the people of Taiwan working for a common goal, we have made preliminary results in controlling the spread of the virus, but false information that endangers the epidemic prevention efforts has become a serious issue facing many countries.

💡 The good news is that Taiwan’s efforts to prevent the harmful effects of false information have once again attracted the attention of international partners. At the end of February, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center, Park Advisors, along with the Institute for Information Technology, have co-hosted the “US-Taiwan Tech Challenge” for the first time. The “Dr. Message” chatbot, developed by TrendMicro engineers won first prize, standing out in a field of teams that included Israel and Australia.

📲 The ‘birth’ of Dr.Message arose from Liu Yanbo and several engineer colleagues at TrendMicro, all of whom had been affected by fake news and texts. After a group discussion, they decided to spend time after work developing their own fraud prevention and anti-fake news tools. Users just need to add the Dr.Message LINE account as a friend and forwards suspicious messages to it, the bot will verify whether it is false.

🖼️ The team then discovered that many of the fake messages systematically appeared in fraudulent groups, and then decided to expand the service to identify false messages. In order to respond to various types of fraudulent and false information, Dr.Message can not only detect the text, but also identify information such as stickers or links, and even supports group identification. After adding the account to the group, Dr.Message can view the group Links and messages inside.

🌐 In addition to contacting non-governmental organizations such as “Cofacts” and “MyGoPen”, Dr.Message also cooperates with government agencies. At present, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration, and the Criminal Investigation Bureau of the National Police Agency and four other agencies continue to provide structured information for verification. So far, Dr.Message has over 300,000 users. In the past month alone, they have read more than 45 million pieces of information, successfully responded to over one million messages with false or fraudulent information, and a Facebook version of the chatbot is expected to launch in March.

🔗 A platform for clarification that allows information to be verified by integrating various parties’ databases also echoes the US-Taiwan Tech Challenge’s original intentions: proposing innovative technological solutions through cross-sector and cross-platform public collaboration to solve current social issues.

🚸 In the end, the epidemic will pass. In the process, the mutual trust and friendship that has built up from all walks of life, as well as the benefits of openness, mutual trust, and working together, are the lessons given to me from Dr.Message, and they are a good remedy to deal with those methods that would split us apart.