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Meet Austrian cities’ Corona-Bot

Meet Austrian cities’ Corona-Bot

The software is vital in the fight against the spread of fake news and is currently in use in cities like Vienna and Linz

The spread of fake news about COVID-19 and how people can protect themselves has become widespread – thousands of articles can be found online giving examples of treatments or explaining the causes and symptoms that simply do not reflect reality in any way. Thus, combatting the spread of fake news and disinformation about the virus quickly became one of the top priorities for many local, regional, national and even EU institutions.

The case of Austria – Vienna and Linz

As of last week, the regional capital of Upper Austria, the city of Linz, has begun using the so-called Corona-Bot – chatbot that is meant to answer all the questions you might have regarding COVID-19 and the Austrian government’s policies.

Equipped with more than a total of 170 answers, the bot can explain to citizens the measures adopted by federal authorities regarding labour laws, prevention, travel, traffic and the operating of schools and other such venues. The most important part is that the bot’s responses are completely true, coming from secure sources, thus sparing citizens the risk of stumbling onto unverified or false information.

The main goal of the Corona-Bot is to provide a secure and convenient way for citizens to find answers to their questions – without needing to go on a wild goose chase that might lead them to fake news and false information.

"Especially in times of crisis, people's need for information is particularly great, as evidenced by the enormous number of visits to www.linz.at in recent weeks. With the new Corona bot integrated into the city website, we offer users the opportunity to get their questions answered quickly and precisely,” explained the Mayor of Linz Klaus Luger.

The Corona-Bot was first unveiled in the Austrian capital of Vienna a few weeks ago and have proven a popular and vital source of up-to-date and verified information that also help stop the spread of fake news and disinformation.

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