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YKA Conducts Workshop On Identifying Fake News And Misinformation On The Internet – Youth Ki Awaaz

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrows Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, shes expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, hes launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhis schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign.

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past shes had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Actions Health Over Stigma campaign. Shes pursuing a Masters in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched Project (Alharh).

She says, Bihar is ranked the lowest in Indias SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights. Project (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned whats beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans mens menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Lets Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, 80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Lets Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam installbiodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.orgs flagship program She Creates Change having run successful online advocacycampaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the events chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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YKA Conducts Workshop On Identifying Fake News And Misinformation On The Internet - Youth Ki Awaaz

Action to be taken against those spreading fake news on social media in Bhopal – India Today

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Action will be taken against those spreading fake news on social media in Madhya Pradesh's capital Bhopal.

Bhopal Collector Avinash Lavaniya has issued an order saying that those spreading fake news will be punished under the IT Act.

The administration is fearing that fake news will deteriorate the law and order situation in the city.

In his order, the Collector has written that recently it has come to the notice that some people put misleading news, false and objectionable messages, videos, pictures, and audio clips on social media. Such information creates panic among the public without any reason. These types of messages can sometimes provoke religious sentiments of different communities.

The notice says, "Do not send or share any such thing which is full of degrading discrimination against any community and religion, creates a state of fear or doubt in the public. If found doing so, legal action will be taken under Section 188 under the other provisions of the Information and Technology Act.

Also read: Facebook showed ads for fake Clubhouse for PC app with malware

Also read: Maharashtra HSC, SSC Exams 2021: Gaikwad dismisses fake news, no decision announced yet

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Action to be taken against those spreading fake news on social media in Bhopal - India Today

Unbiased Uses AI and Big Data to Fight Fake News – TechAcute

Nowadays, we are encountering a lot of fake news on the internet. Thats becoming a problem because a lot of people believe them, and it just lowers the credibility of many news outlets all over the world. Finding a solution towards fighting fake news is incredibly important, and thats why the startup Unbiased was created in the first place.

Unbiased is in a public beta state, and they provide a platform focused on user privacy where users are able to monetize their data and also receive incentives. The search app is also used for big data analytics can deliver insights to the users. Their opinions can have value, which helps make the experience better and more comprehensive. On top of that, with such tools, it will be easier than ever to move towards a healthier society where quality and transparency are the best values.

One of the main benefits of Unbiased is that it harnesses blockchain, AI, and machine learning as well as crowdsourcing. The main mission of the platform is to help users stay away from misinformation and fake news. This has become a major problem in the online world, but Unbiased fights against that and focuses on the delivery of better value and outstanding results in the long term. This is a much better alternative to current tools while still bringing in resounding benefits.

The Unbiased platform brings in a dedicated search engine, data marketplace, data integrity, and a great AI system designed to help you ensure that you have access only to the best information in the online world. The system itself is great because you can do a simple search to gain insights. You will also have data privacy and user consent.

At the same time, there are incentives for value creators. On top of that, Unbiased initiates a sharing economy and data marketplace designed to help make the entire process better and more convenient than ever before. Youre also getting access to a multitude of platform features. These include things like a dedicated messenger, all-in-one social media, digital tokens, and a digital wallet as well. Getting all these tools up and running will eventually help make the process better and more consistent than ever before. Its one of the best things about the platform, the fact that it constantly evolves, and it helps bring in a lot of growth to the social world.

Unbiased has a very noble goal of eliminating fake news and supporting creators of proper, high-quality content with the use of machine learning, AI, and blockchain. The results are great, and they are working extremely hard to push the boundaries and provide customers with extraordinary success. Its still growing as a platform, but the potential is huge, and it does bring in front some amazing benefits. All you have to do is to check it out for yourself, as it has tremendous potential.

YouTube: Unbiased Plattform Overview

Photo credit: The featured image has been taken by Filip Mishevski.

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Unbiased Uses AI and Big Data to Fight Fake News - TechAcute

Siddharth Varadarajan of The Wire spreads fake news a day after The Logical Indian apologised for the same: Read details – OpIndia

The Kumbh Mela has become a matter of concern for several people who had defended the Tablighi Jamaat when they had deliberately spread the virus by hiding in mosques, spit in places, pelted stones at police personnel and even defecated in hospitals. Almost determined to undermine Hindus and obfuscate facts, the propaganda has been at its highest. In the midst of this, Siddharth Varadarajan has resorted to spreading fake news again. In fact, the same fake news that the Logical Indians had apologised for just a day ago.

Siddharth Varadarajan took to Twitter to tweet The Wire article, with a comment why godi media warriors were not demanding he be arrested under the IPC and NDMA and Epidemic Diseases Act?, referring to the BJP leader Sunil Bharala.

The headline that was visible in the tweet preview of the article he plugged read, BJP MLA Says He Visited Kumbh Mela and Was COVID-19 Positive. The preview headline clearly insinuates that Bharala was actually COVID-19 positive at the time he visited the Kumbh Mela.

This, however, is not accurate. Logical Indian, that had first reported this, had just a day ago taken to Twitter to a apologise for spreading fake news.

In their statement, The Logical Indian said, The Logical Indian earlier reported that Uttar Pradesh BJP leader Sunil Bharala tested positive for COVID-19 and still attended the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. However, in an interview with NDTV, the leader said that he attended the event and later added that he is currently COVID positive.

We wish to acknowledge that we inadvertently misrepresented the facts. The Logical Indian apologizes for the incorrect statement that claimed he attended the event while he was infected with the virus, he added.

In the fake news post, TLI attributed a fake quote to Sunil Bharala. The fake quote said, Im COVID positive myself. I still went to Kumbh. Dharma is above Corona guidelines. The news post further claimed that Kumbh Mela has become a Covid hotspot.

Interestingly, even after The Logical Indian apologised for spreading fake news, Siddharth Varadarajan took to Twitter to spread the same fake news and even demand that other media houses join in.

The article that The Wire wrote itself seems to have been updated since it does acknowledge that the Logical Indian apologised for spreading this news, however, Siddharth Varadarajan craftily took to Twitter to spread the fake news further and refused to delete it despite several people pointing out his error to him.

One Twitter user pointed out that if the Uttar Pradesh Government books him for deliberately spreading fake news, Varadarajan would cry FOE (like he had done before).

Another simply plugged the apology statement by The Logical Indian and assumed that Varadarajan had the IQ to understand that he was spreading fake news.

Another demanded that the Uttar Pradesh police arrest him for spreading fake news.

However, despite several such tweets, Varadarajan has refused to delete his post till the time this article was written.

In April 2020, two FIRs had been registered against The Wire Founder-Editor Siddharth Varadarajan for spreading fake news against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Varadarajan, in a bid to whitewash the deeds of Tablighi Jamaat. At that time, he hadwrongly attributed a fake quote to the UP CM.

Mrityunjay Kumar, the media advisor to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, had informed that despite the warning from the state government, Varadarajan neither deleted the false article and nor apologised for the same. Therefore, an FIR had been registered against him.

In January 2021 as well, a complaint was registered in Uttar Pradesh against The Wire Editor Siddharth Varadarajan forpublishingand circulating false propaganda with intent to cause violence after he had tweeted an article void of any facts pertaining to the death of a rioter during the tractor rally.

The complaint was registered against Varadarajan under Section 153B and 505of the IPC in Rampur police station for trying to instigate the crowd by peddling false information about the death of a rioter named Navreet Singh, who had died during the tractor rally after his tractor turtled.

In fact, after the FIR was filed against Siddharth Varadarajan for spreading fake news in a bid to shield the Tablighi Jamaat, several liberals had come out to cry Freedom of Expression and even threatened the Yogi Adityanath government with USA pressure to ensure that the case against Varadarajan was withdrawn.

It is clear that Siddharth Varadarajan has a habit of spreading fake news against Uttar Pradesh, its Chief Minister and its ministers and when the government takes action, he and his coterie cry freedom of expression to shield themselves. If under the current situation, the Uttar Pradesh government decides to act against him, it is almost a certainty that he and his cohorts will cry about how media freedom is under threat while refusing to delete the blatantly fake news that he has clearly chosen to spread.

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Siddharth Varadarajan of The Wire spreads fake news a day after The Logical Indian apologised for the same: Read details - OpIndia

Fake news attacks feature in NATO cyber war game – The Star Online

TALLINN: A fake news site attacking a NATO member recovering from the pandemic is part of the fictional scenario in an alliance cyber war game this week billed as the world's largest.

In the exercise, non-NATO member Crimsonia attacks vital infrastructure such as water supplies and mobile networks on the island state of Berylia, as well as the financial sector.

Crimsonia is also engaging in information warfare, persuading the people of Berylia that their government is responsible for a series of accidents through fake news and social media posts.

The Locked Shields 2021 exercise included 2,000 experts from 30 countries and was organised by the Estonia-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE).

This year the exercise featured several new dilemmas, said Commander Michael Widmann, Head of the CCDCOE Strategy Branch.

The exercise examined how evolving technologies, such as deepfakes, will shape future conflict. The cyber domain and information warfare operate hand in hand in the modern environment, he said, calling for governments to have strong strategic communication policies to mitigate these risks.

In the exercise, he said the teams had to find ways for the government of Berylia to communicate in a manner that does not confuse or, worse yet, panic members of the general public.

Adrian Venables, a British academic who has been involved in the exercise for the past seven years, told AFP that while the information campaign part of the exercise was voluntary it was designed so that teams taking part would score higher.

Venables said the information warfare elements provide additional realism and context although the main focus of the exercise is still technical.

The exercise was taking place alongside a real-world cyber defence conference in Tallinn at which NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana on Thursday warned that the pandemic has made countries more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Russia and China have tried to use the Covid-19 crisis to exploit vulnerabilities, including those in cyberspace, with cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns, designed to sow distrust and division in our democratic societies, he said. AFP

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Fake news attacks feature in NATO cyber war game - The Star Online

Pro-AAP vlogger Dhruv Rathee spreads fake news about only BJP campaigning for Bengal elections, gives clean chit to TMC, Left, and Congress – OpIndia

Amidst rising Coronavirus cases in the country, pro-Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) vlogger Dhruv Rathee blamed the BJP for risking the lives of people by continuing with its election campaigning in West Bengal.

In a Facebook post on Monday (April 19), Rathee alleged, Rahul Gandhi, Left Parties and Mamata Banerjee have all stopped their election campaigns now. Furthermore, he added, Only Modi and Shah are shameless enough to continue playing with peoples lives. For them, politics >your life. His remarks were directed against the BJP for conducting large gatherings ahead of the 6th phase of polls in West Bengal.

While Dhruv Rathee had made the allegations on Facebook, he did not re-upload the post on his Twitter timeline. However, his post about an actor named Nakuul Mehta supposedly exposing the harsh reality in India can be found on both social media platforms. Dhruv Rathee has a history of peddling fake news and has often been called out on Twitter. As such, he perhaps planned to evade backlash over his baseless allegations by simply not re-posting it on the microblogging site.

In order to cross-verify his claim that all parties with the exception of BJP have stopped their election campaigns, we first visited the official Facebook page of Mamata Banerjee. The first post on her Facebook timeline was a live stream of an election rally at Hemtabad in Uttar Dinajpur district. A simple search debunked the claim that the Trinamool Congress supremo has stopped conducting election campaigns.

As a matter of fact, Mamata Banerjee was accompanied by thousands of Trinamool Congress workers during her massive roadshow from Dhakuria Bridge to the Kalighat crossing yesterday. While the West Bengal CM remain seated in her wheelchair, her supporters followed her with complete disregard to social distancing guidelines.

We had also exposed how Mamata Banerjee and the ruling Trinamool Congress dispensation has been able to successfully evade public scrutiny by shrewdly avoiding live streaming of political rallies on Twitter. While a concerned Mamata Banerjee tweets to Election Commission about rising Coronavirus cases on Twitter, her Facebook timeline is filled with videos of election rallies violating social distancing guidelines.

This strategy also seems to be working as a quick scan of major mainstream media coverage will show how they have not been covering most of her rallies while they have been going hammer and tongs against the BJP rallies.

Dhruv Rathee had also explicitly mentioned the name of Congress scion Rahul Gandhi in a bid to target the BJP and give a clean chit to the Congress. It must be mentioned that on Sunday, Gandhiattributedelection rallies to the rising Coronavirus cases in the country. This is despite the fact that he had addressed a large gathering in Goalpokhar in West Bengal ahead of the 5th phase of Vidhan Sabha polls just a few days back.

Afterrealisingthat election rallies wont be of much help to the partys prospects, Rahul Gandhi decided to call them off. But despite the Congress leaders diktat, party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury continued to attend crowded rallies. On Sunday, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had shared pictures from his rally at the Naoda Vidhan Sabha Constituency in support of the alliance-backed candidate. He also shared pictures from a rally in Malda in support of another candidate.

This runs counter to the claim of Dhruv Rathee that Congress has stopped conducting election campaigns. At the same time, Gandhis announcement of cancelling his rallies in West Bengal appears to be a tactic only to earn plaudits on social media. The reality on the ground is quite different.

On April 16, CPI(M) leader and former Rajya Sabha member Md Salim posted a tweet declaring that since the Coronavirus is raging across the country, the CPI(M) had decided not to hold any big political event. In his tweet, he even urged the Prime Minister of India and West Bengal chief minister to act responsibly and put the country before the party.

However, hours after taking the moral high ground and pompously announcing that his party would not be organising any big political event, Md Salim took part in a huge political roadshow organised by CPI(M) at Hemtabad in Bengal for canvassing support for Sanjukta Morcha supported CPI(M) candidate Bhupen Barman. In a tweet dated April 17, the party presided over a big political roadshow where participants were seen flouting basic social distancing protocols and not wearing masks.

In another instance, on April 18, two days after Md Salim claimed that CPI(M) had called off big political events in the light of the coronavirus outbreak, a public meeting was organised by the party in support of Fuad Halim, CPI(M) candidate from the Ballygunj constituency.

Its clear that the claims made by pro-AAP vlogger Dhruv Rathee are false and motivated. Although he tried to make a case against the BJP through his shrewd Twitter strategy and the art of cherry-picking, it only exposed his bias.

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Pro-AAP vlogger Dhruv Rathee spreads fake news about only BJP campaigning for Bengal elections, gives clean chit to TMC, Left, and Congress - OpIndia

Complaining not fixing nation’s woes | News, Sports, Jobs – Evening Observer

The illegal alien problem has been going on far too long. Nothing is being done by the Democrats in Washington. All they do is complain about the situation, but they are not doing anything to solve this major problem in our country.

All Democrats seem to care about is how they can impeach a duly elected president of the United States. All this because the Democrats lost the 2016 election. Now the Democrats have people in Congress who are anti-our way of life, anti-working Americans, anti-citizens of this country. They have gone out of their way to upset this country, along with the fake news television networks and of course the nuts in Hollywood. They want open borders. They want everything free, including health care.

They want illegals to have drivers licenses. They dont want any type of checks on those who are illegal in this country. They want socialism in this country, but who in the Democratic party has gone overseas to see how the other half lives, especially under socialism, who bankrupt good countries? They create unrest, just like in this country when the Democrats dont get their way. The only way this lunacy ends is when those Democrats in office in Washington and Albany are voted out of office so we can have some semblance of order in this country and both parties can work together again.

When finally both parties will listen to the taxpayers and citizens of this country, they will bring back common sense in our government.

Biden has caused a shocking blunder for this country at the border.

Richard Makuch is a Dunkirk resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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Complaining not fixing nation's woes | News, Sports, Jobs - Evening Observer

Maniyanpilla Rajus son rubbishes fake news on actors health, says he recovered from COVID – Mathrubhumi English

Thiruvananthapuram: Actor Maniyanpilla Rajus son Niranjan has rubbished the fake news on his fathers health. He appealed to all not to circulate rumours on his fathers health condition. Maniyanpilla Raju who was hospitalised after testing COVID positive has recovered from the disease. He is currently taking rest at home.

The actor who is also a producer is expected to resume work soon after his health improves.

Maniyanpilla Raju was hospitalised for more than two weeks after pneumonia along with COVID-19 infection. When this news was reported, many people circulated fake news on his health condition.

Now, his son Niranjan took to his Facebook page reacting to the fake news.

I kindly ask everyone and those medias to stop publishing fakes news about my father, he recovered over two weeks ago and is doing well and fine at home. Thank you!, wrote Niranjan on his Facebook page.

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Maniyanpilla Rajus son rubbishes fake news on actors health, says he recovered from COVID - Mathrubhumi English

Kevin Durant blasts Shannon Sharpe for sharing fake news about him: ‘You go on tv in front of everybody pushing fake s**t’ – Basketball Network

Kevin Durant didnt take it too kindly after some of the recent comments Shannon Sharpe made on his show Undisputed with Skip Bayles. Sharpe went on a rant, saying that Kevin Durant stated he is no longer chasing championship rings after joining the Brooklyn Nets. The thing that bothers Durant the most is the quote Sharpe used on the show that apparently Durant never said even though Sharpe quoted him and made a story out of it.

If LeBron James is the GOAT, I beat the GOAT twice, hit the shots in his building, what does that make me.

Durant went on his Twitter account and actively called out Sharpe for lying and saying things that werent true. That resulted in Sharpe blocking Durant on social media, which added more fuel to the fire, and Durant called him sensitive. Apparently, Sharpe reached out to Durant to discuss everything in a private and civilized way, but Durant is not buying it.

That is not the first time the media members get into an altercation with the players and is most definitely not the last time. These types of confrontations occur pretty frequently, and this time if Durant is right and if Sharpe misquoted him to make a story out of it, that is unprofessional, and he has every right to be frustrated. Well see if he accepts Sharpes apology and they squash everything, but knowing Durant, he will probably not let Sharpe get off the hook so easily.

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Kevin Durant blasts Shannon Sharpe for sharing fake news about him: 'You go on tv in front of everybody pushing fake s**t' - Basketball Network

The TikTok Of The Fake News Clock: Thinking Our Way Out Of The Fake News Crisis – Forbes

Just like the fight against smoking, combating misinformation will be a complex and ongoing effort, ... [+] involving a mix of sensible regulation, content moderation, and warnings, along with education.

If you are a parent of a teenager, you have heard and maybe even worried about the rise of TikTok. The social media platforms users are mostly teens and younger kids, who use it to share short videos. Kids often imitate dances from the site, using a flurry of hand and arm movements. Think handjive meets hip hop.

TikTok is perhaps best known for Trumps ill-fated attempt to ban it because of its ties to China, but it has a large fake news problem too. Election misinformation was prevalent on the platform; and this summer, the #Pizzagate conspiracy theory exploded on TikTok.

This is alarming since young users are often not yet media savvy, but it also raises some broader questions about why exactly fake news on social media spreads. More specifically, is the main problem political bias or is it just a lack of thinking? Should I be worried about my child visiting TikTok given its fake news problem?

In todays highly polarized political environment, with fragmented media constructing alternative realities for their readers and viewers, it might seem obvious that the main culprit behind the prevalence of misinformation is motivated reasoning, or types of tribalistic thinking. In other words, people believe what they want to believe and disregard countervailing evidence, and social media platforms like TikTok just make the problem worse by pushing certain messages via algorithms.

But a new paper, synthesizing previous research, suggests the fake news problem extends beyond partisan actors and ultimately implicates the social media environment of apps like Tik Tok and the type of thinking they foster or fail to foster.

According to the authors Gordon Pennycook and David G. Rand, It seems that people fall for fake news because they do not stop and reflect sufficiently on their prior knowledge and not because their reasoning is hijacked by political motivations.

If true, the research can have important implications since it suggests education and small nudge interventions can be an effective perhaps the most effective tool in countering misinformation.

Just as important, the research also helps explain why kids, who usually dont yet have particularly strong political biases, are more susceptible to misinformation on TikTok and other social media sites.

First, a bit about one of Pennycook and Rands experiments. They asked subjects to judge the accuracy of fake news headlines and then set out to determine whether their competence correlated with political identification. What they found was that poor news judgment correlated much more strongly with poor performance on Cognitive Reflection Test than with political ideology. (CRTs measure takers ability to step back from immediate, intuitive answers and do more reflection.)

Other experiments suggest similarly that sharing fake news on social media is driven more by inattention and emotion than ideology. The social media context itself, write Pennycook and Rand, distracts people from prioritizing the truth when they decide what to share.

The bizarre reemergence of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory on TikTok seems to at least partially validate Pennycook and Rands research. The spread of the theory amongst younger users doesnt seem to be motivated by hatred and suspicion of elites like it was in its initial iteration, but simply by entertainment value, inattention, and the desire to share.

This may make it seem relatively harmless, but as weve seen time and again, no matter how bizarre and even humorous these theories seem on their face, they can still carry real-world impact down the line.

There are few important caveats to Rand and Pennycooks research. It pertains to explicitly false news, rather than simply hyperpartisan sources that can be extremely misleading without being fake. Also, it is difficult to know how the experimental conditions influenced the participants performance.

Then again, that is part of the point of this research. It suggests that changing the frame of mind of news consumers making them more active and attentive may be enough to improve their behavior around certain content. Pennycook and Rand favor nudges like having participants rate headlines for accuracy, or asking them to explain how they know something to be true or false. These might be introduced by social media platforms themselves or by third-parties through ads. Reboots own research on fake news has similarly found that quick educational interventions like a short video can also have a beneficial impact.

As the researchers point out, these interventions avoid turning Facebook and Twitter into censors or arbiters of truth. Instead, they leverage users own (often latent) ability to make such determinations themselves.

In other words, people are more capable of good reasoning than we are sometimes prepared to give them credit for. The key is to put them in a position to put that reasoning into action. With young people, this means providing them with the education early in life to think critically and develop media literacy skills something were hard at work on at Reboot. And it means disrupting the social media environments that lead both adults and kids to think poorly or not think at all.

So, is Tik Tok safe? Parents should keep their childrens critical thinking skills in mind as they begin to use sites like TikTok. This doesnt mean banning the app outright, but it might mean talking through the problems of misinformation on social media and the ways in which social media can distort our thinking more generally.

As for fake news more broadly, education is not the only piece of the puzzle. Just like the fight against smoking, combating misinformation will be a complex and ongoing effort, involving a mix of sensible regulation, content moderation, and warnings, along with education.

We cant expect to ever stamp out misinformation completely or to regulate it out of existence, as attractive as those options might seem. Rather, to overcome the misinformation crisis, we have to believe in each other and in the power of human reason. Thinking, in this case, can make it so.

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The TikTok Of The Fake News Clock: Thinking Our Way Out Of The Fake News Crisis - Forbes

In the war of fake news versus facts, here’s what the next battle should be – The Guardian

To survive, democracy needs a minimum of shared truth. With the storming of the Capitol in Washington on 6 January, the US showed us just how dangerous it is when millions of citizens are led to deny an important, carefully verified fact namely, who won the election.

To prosper, democracy needs a certain kind of public sphere, one in which citizens and their representatives engage in vigorous argument on the basis of shared facts. Restoring that kind of public sphere is now a central task for the renewal of liberal democracy. Call it the fact fightback.

The basic idea comes to us from the very beginnings of democracy, 2,500 years ago. The citizens of ancient Athens gathered in an open air debating place known as the Pnyx the original public square. Who will address the assembly? asked the herald, and any citizen could get up on a stone platform to speak. After facts and arguments had been presented and debated, a policy was put to a vote. It was through this deliberative process that the ancient Athenians decided to fight the invading Persians at sea, in the Battle of Salamis, and saved the worlds first democracy.

To be sure, ancient Athens never entirely measured up to its own revolutionary ideal of equal, free speech for the public good; nor did the US public square, even before the arrival of Fox News and Facebook. Beware the myth of a pre-Zuckerberg golden age, when only the purest waters of Truth flowed from the mouths of supremely principled newspapermen, and all citizens were rational, informed and respectfully open-minded. But most democracies have in recent years moved further away from the Athenian ideal: some rapidly (the US, Poland), others more slowly (Germany, Britain).

To address this challenge, we need a twin-track strategy. On the first track, individual democracies must tackle the particular problems of their own national information environments. In Britain, for example, the battle to defend and improve the BBC is more important than anything the UK government does about Facebook or Twitter.

A public service broadcaster such as the BBC gives us not just verified facts but a curated diversity of arguments in one place: a digital Pnyx. Any democracy that has a decent public service broadcaster should double its budget, strengthen its independence from government and task it with enhancing the digital public square for tomorrows citizens.

In Poland, where public service broadcasting has been destroyed by a populist ruling party, it is now crucial to defend independent private media such as the TVN television channel and the onet.pl internet platform. They and others are coming under sharp attack, with measures straight out of the playbook of Viktor Orbn in Hungary.

In the US there is no shortage of diverse, free, privately owned media, including some of the best in the world. The problem there is that Americans have largely separated out into two divorced media worlds with different television channels, radio stations, YouTube channels, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds (such as the currently deleted @realDonaldTrump) giving them incompatible versions of reality.

It is as if half the citizens of ancient Athens had assembled on the old Pnyx, where they were addressed by Pericles, while the other half gathered on a counter-Pnyx, where the would-be tyrant Hippias (Donald J) held them enthralled. How do you bring Americans back together so they listen to each other again?

Yet no single nation is big enough to take on the private superpowers of the digital world Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Netflix. Here, on this second track, we need the co-ordinated action of a critical mass of democracies, starting with the US and those of the European Union.

Outside China, the US is the worlds leading digital trendsetter while the EU is its leading norm-setter. Put together the trendsetter and the norm-setter, add a bunch of other leading democracies, and you have a combination of market and regulatory power to which even His Digital Highness Mark Zuckerberg must bow.

When I hear politicians confidently pontificating about Facebook or Google, I am reminded of HL Menckens remark: For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong. Make them pay for news links on their platforms! (The Australian solution.) Put the former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre on to them as head of the UK media regulator Ofcom! Treat platforms as publishers!

The USs giant for-profit platforms are neither dumb pipes nor publishers, but a new creation somewhere in-between. They are algorithmic selectors, distributors and promoters of content provided by others and, at the same time, mass collectors and commercial exploiters of our data.

At best, they are important aids to truth-seeking. (We Google the sharpest criticism of Google.) At worst, they are unprecedentedly powerful amplifiers of lies. The profit motive pushes them towards the dark side, via algorithmic maximisation of the currency of attention. In a 2016 internal report, Facebook itself found that 64% of those who joined one extremist group on Facebook did so only because the companys algorithm recommended it to them. (Weve changed, you know! protests Facebook, like a reformed alcoholic. But has he really stopped drinking?)

What we need now is a process, led by the US and EU, to distil some coherent policies from what is already a large body of good research. Some, such as amending the US Communications Decency Act to make platforms more directly responsible for curbing harmful content, will depend on the new US Congress. Others, such as breaking what are clearly monopolies or near-monopolies, will require a strategic combination of EU competition policy and revised US anti-trust legislation.

For content moderation, we should build on the hybrid regulation model pioneered in Facebooks new oversight board, which has just issued its first rulings. (Next challenge: should Facebook, and by implication Twitter, continue to ban ex-president Trump?) Serious solutions will involve technological innovation, business practice, fact-checking and digital education, as well as democratically mandated law and regulation.

Ideally, this would result in a set of proposals being put before the summit of democracies planned by the US president, Joe Biden. Of course, 80 different countries are not going to adopt identical measures. But there must be some coherence in the underlying principles and basic approaches, otherwise the internet of the free, which has already lost China, will become even more of a splinternet. Moreover, the private superpowers will be the only ones who can afford the cost of complying with 80 different sets of regulations, thus unintentionally strengthening the fateful trend to monopoly. Since these are US companies, a special responsibility falls on Washington. Here is a unique opportunity for Bidens US to show that it can listen as well as lead.

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In the war of fake news versus facts, here's what the next battle should be - The Guardian

When Fake News Turns Into Conspiracy Theories: The viral factor in today’s media landscape, and what we can do to stop it – Syracuse University News

On January 6, as public officials met to certify Joe Bidens victory in the 2020 Presidential Election, supporters of Donald Trump stormed the capitol by mob, resulting in a riot that left five people dead.

In the days leading up to the riot, supporters of President Trump used a myriad of mainstream and fringe social media sites to organize and discuss the possibility of violence. Websites like Parler and TheDonald.win were rife with posts about storming the Capitol, according to an article in The Hill.

According to reporting by the New York Times, as Donald Trump ended his afternoon rally by calling on protestors to march on Congress, right-wing groups immediately took to these sites to promote the attack. At least 12 people openly posted about carrying guns inside the Capitol building, with others recommending tools that could help pry open doors.

Some were dressed in Viking costumes, some looked like soldiers in camouflage military uniforms, and others carried with them symbols of hate.

But they all united as they had been for months around a common falsehood: The election had been unlawfully stolen from Trump, who deserved the victory.

Fake news, from what it is to how it spreads, has been a hot topic throughout the past few years, especially amidst the recent election.

In the weeks following Election Day, President Trump has been making claims of widespread fraud that wrongfully resulted in Joe Bidens win.

Jeff Hemsley, Professor of Information Studies at the iSchool, says that there are always minor amounts of fraud in every election. Out of nearly 160 million votes, he suspects that only a tiny fraction of ballots may have been fraudulent. Probably less than 1%.

[President Trump] is essentially creating and instigating a fake news story, he said.

Hemsley argues that these instances of fake news are really just propaganda something that has been around since there have been governments and churches at all.

At its core, propaganda is simply distorted information thats published for someones political gain. And whether its a wartime newspaper ad or a seemingly innocent social media post, propaganda is only successful to the extent that people believe it and it spreads.

So what is it that makes something go viral?

Hemsley says the key thing to remember is that stories dont go viral unless a lot of people share it (a lot being relative to the audience and platform).

A CNN video with a million views, for example, isnt necessarily viral. CNN simply has a lot of viewers.

But if that video is frequently shared and spreads as a result, then we might call it viral.

According to Hemsley, one reason fake news spreads is because its often inflammatory in some way. That makes it exciting and worth talking about it.

The things that tend to spread are things that are remarkable, he said, Remarkable just means people are talking about it, or remarking on it. And thats virality.

For example, the Black Lives Matter movement is largely the result of many viral events linked together, Hemsley argues. The general public became aware of the severity of police brutality and racial injustice ultimately because videos from bystanders went viral again and again.

Another well-known example is Pizzagate, a fake news story started on the conspiracy-oriented online message board 4chan.

In 2016, a 4chan user fabricated a story about the Comet Ping Pong pizza shop in Washington, DC, falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton and other Democratic elites used the pizza shops basement as a site for child sexual abuse.

In response, a North Carolina man attempting to investigate the conspiracy himself drove to the restaurant and fired a semi-automatic rifle inside in order to break the lock to a storage room.

As it turns out, Comet Ping Pong doesnt even have a basement at all nor does it engage in any of the alleged illicit activities.

Pizzagate is often considered to be a predecessor to other conspiracy theories such as QAnon, whose central premise is that Satanic cannibals run a global child sex trafficking ring that plots to overthrow Donald Trump.

While admittedly far-fetched on its own, in August 2019, the FBI published a report calling QAnon a possible source of domestic terror.

These stories and countless others show just how severe the consequences of fake news can be, though the logistics of preventing it can be difficult to sort out at scale.

Hemsley does think that public pressure can play a significant role in shaping the prevention of fake news. Facebooks decision to disable the share button on viral posts after a certain limit, for instance, likely came about as the result of public concern.

More recently, these companies have cracked down even harder in an effort to mitigate social tensions. Facebook banned thousands of QAnon accounts in October and, following the attack on the Capitol, placed an indefinite suspension on Donald Trumps account there at least until his term is over.

Twitter also made the move to permanently suspend the Presidents account, while Amazon, Apple, and Google have all withdrawn infrastructure support for Parler by denying service from AWS, the App Store, and Google Play, respectively.

He warns us, however, to be careful about the way we answer the question of whether online platforms and media outlets should limit fake news.

Once we say that a decision needs to be made, it becomes tricky to determine exactly who gets the power to decide. Who becomes the arbitrator?

A more pragmatic approach would be to take individual responsibility for the information we receive and evaluate it critically.

Hemsley recommends checking out the interactive Media Bias Chart published by Ad Fontes Media.

The tool plots news media outlets on a graph with axes representing political bias (from most extreme left to most extreme right) and overall source reliability (from fabricated info to original fact reporting).

Almost all news organizations are biased, but some lie more than others, Hemsley said, If youre going to look at Fox News, also look at MSNBC. If youre going to look at things on the far right, look at things on the far left. But focus mainly on the sources in the middle.

The best news, he says, tends to come from the center and is less driven by value statements than by factual statements. These include outlets like Reuters, the Associated Press, and CBS Local.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to do is to pay attention and seek out the truth regardless of your own personal beliefs and biases.

The world can change as the result of viral events, Hemsley said, The thing we need to understand is that [it] can change for better or for worse.

If it turns out that the lie is sexier than the truth, then were in danger of undermining our very democracy.

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When Fake News Turns Into Conspiracy Theories: The viral factor in today's media landscape, and what we can do to stop it - Syracuse University News

The dog days of fake news and misinformation – JNS.org

(February 9, 2021 / JNS) Welcome to a world where you cant trust a single thing you hear. The news is dismissed as fake, and the information we receive comes with alternating prefixesmis or dis.

Is anything were told ever true?

Former President Donald Trump introduced a new genre of truth-telling known as fake news. It started on day one, immediately after his inauguration, when truth went into eclipse. The inaugural was sparsely attended by historical comparisons. No shame in that. But Trump, always the showman and annoyed by a simultaneous Womens March inspired by his infamous Access Hollywood segment, decided that the media had severely undercounted the crowd. A record number of well-wishers had actually attended the kickoff to his presidency.

And with that, all unflattering news about the Trump administration was forevermore deemed as fake by the administration. The media, for its part, didnt help matters by reporting only negative news about the presidentno quarter for any of his achievements, never given the benefit of the doubt. The battle lines were clearly delineated. Trump referred to the press as the enemy. The media didnt exactly rise above the skirmish. (The ratings were too good. Besides, they built him with all the free coverage he received during the 2016 campaign.)

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And so, fake news entered the public consciousness. Journalists and broadcasters might have their own agendas, and it had nothing to do with truth-telling. They didnt so much as report the news as implant a story they wanted the American public to believegiving it a decidedly Blue State bias. They werent journalists but evangelists, deliberately leaving out facts, slanting content, editorializing rather than objectively reporting.

Trump had a new twist on Marshall McLuhans seminal work, The Medium Is the Message. The media wasnt going to let facts get in the way of directing its readers or audience what to think. Trump was a news junkies godsend. With himthe ultimate bad guy, so easy to root againsteven bad news would be welcome. News was suddenly tailored for a particular audience. The central message would remain unchanged, no matter what events actually transpired. Confirmation biases were reassuringly spoon fed and lapped up.

Tune in and join the revelry of the like-minded: Donald Trump was evil, and anyone who supported him or even had conflicted feelings about him was no better than the man himself.

Ever since the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol, however, the Biden administration has already adopted its own strategy for shaping the news. Whatever the public was hearing that wasnt consistent with the aims of the new administration was casually dismissed as untrue, concocted by those who only wish to deceive.

Of course, its easier to control the message when both mass media, which commodifies the news, and social media, which accelerates its delivery, are on your side. Bidens cushy treatment by the media so far suggests that it might surpass the eight years of kid-gloving the Obama White House. The Fourth Estate might be in line for a Cabinet seat.

Americans are now being repeatedly warned to stay on constant alert for misinformation or, even worse, disinformation. The government and the mainstream press are jointly informing the public that if news is reported outside of official channels, then it should be dismissed as incorrect.

And what kinds of falsehoods are slyly being peddled as truth? Anything that cast doubt on the recent presidential election or Hunter Bidens business dealings in China. Anything that suggests that America is not a racist nation with half its population as white supremacists. Favorable stories about the oil and coal industries. Any mention that transgender women should not be able to participate in womens collegiate sports. Anyone who disapproves of open borders or complains about rising crime rates and releasing offenders without bail. And the most dreaded disinformation of all: that the police arent actually targeting African-American males.

Surrounded as we are by either news that is fake or information that is plainly false, where only one point of view can be tolerated and no differences of opinion are allowed, no wonder that far too many Americans are walking around with clenched teeth, their heads filled with multiple conspiracy theories.

It wasnt always this way.

Remember Walter Cronkite, anchorman for the CBS Evening News for nearly 20 years, with his avuncular voice keeping the nation informed about the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam war, the Apollo moon landing and Watergate? He wasnt Hollywood handsome or controversial or particularly entertaining, and yet 29 million Americans (nowadays, the major networks manage only 5 million viewers) religiously watched his broadcast every night.

All that time, we never knew whether he was a Democrat or Republican, a liberal or conservative; whether he was against the war in Vietnam; whether he believed the counterculture needed a haircut and that Woodstock spelled the end of the world. Knowing those things about him was none of our business. He was a newsman; his subjective feelings didnt interfere with his job.

Opinion polls routinely and overwhelmingly reflected the national sentiment that he was the most trusted man in America.

Who would occupy that lofty post of national faithfulness today? Would any of the network or cable news anchors rank ahead of Kim Kardashian?

Earning the trust of the people is the only way that institutionswhether they be governmental, corporate or communicationshave any legitimacy. The character of a nation depends on a social contract that is drafted without signatures. Its all sealed with a handshake.

Today, we are surrounded by mistrust and skepticism everywhere. Promises arent just broken; they were never believed at the outset. Truth is elusive and consensus is nonexistent. Shaking hands is impossible when people wont meet one another halfway.

The absence of mutual respect numbered the days of polite society. Just look at the rage thats exhibited online. Snark has replaced smarts. Artificial intelligence cant arrive soon enough. Placing our trust in machines has better prospects.

We might be able to reverse course. But for now, as Cronkite signed-off nightly, And thats the way it is.

Thane Rosenbaumis a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College, where he directs theForum on Life, Culture & Society. He is the legal analyst forCBS News Radio.His most recent book is titled Saving Free Speech From Itself.

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The dog days of fake news and misinformation - JNS.org

Fake News: Why People Believe, How It Spreads, and What You Can Do About It – Syracuse University News

From loose tigers to voter fraud, news outlets and social media have contributed to the explosive growth of fake news stories and false information in recent years.

But if one thing has become increasingly clear, its that fake news can have very real, very dangerous consequences.

We spoke to Jeff Hemsley, Josh Introne, Bei Yu, and Lu Xiao each of them a professor here at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies to dig into the nature of fake news and what we can all do to mitigate its impact.

Looking for a program that lets you study informations effect on society? Check out our undergraduate and graduate programs at the iSchool.

Its one thing to hear something that isnt true. Its another to believe it. Its these beliefs that lead to action, which can have both positive and negative repercussions.

Josh Introne, Assistant Professor of Information Studies at the iSchool, studies how our belief systems impact the stories and information we choose to accept as true.

His research examines belief systems pools of interconnected beliefs that are likely to occur together within certain populations.

He says, for example, that a person who believes that the Affordable Care Act was an important step in improving healthcare is also likely to support gun control as a means of addressing gun violence.

Introne attributes peoples individual susceptibility to false information to their belief systems and tribalism a state where the identity of the group becomes more important than the identity of the individual.

Read the full story: How our Belief Systems Make us More Susceptible to Misinformation

Fake news isnt just some online phenomenon. As events like Pizzagate and the 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol make clear, a popular fake news story can result in violent action and fatal consequences.

Jeff Hemsley, Associate Professor of Information Studies at the iSchool, argues that many instances of fake news, such as those peddled by President Trump, are really just propaganda distorted information thats published for someones political gain.

And whether its a wartime newspaper ad or a seemingly innocent social media post, propaganda is only successful to the extent that it spreads.

The things that tend to spread are things that are remarkable, he said, Remarkable just means people are talking about it. And thats virality.

Fake news gets shared because its often inflammatory in some way. That makes it exciting and worth talking about it.

The world can change as the result of viral events, Hemsley said.

If it turns out that the lie is sexier than the truth, then were in danger of undermining our very democracy.

Read the full story: When Fake News Turns Into Conspiracy Theories: The viral factor in todays media landscape, and what we can do to stop it

Some false information is the result of an honest mistake. Most fake news stories, on the other hand, are produced with the intent to deceive.

This is the difference between mis-information (honest) and dis-information (deceptive).

Bei Yu and Lu Xiao, both Associate Professors of Information Studies at the iSchool, study techniques of persuasion and how they are used to proliferate instances of disinformation.

Heres a few things they say you can do to spot fake news online

Here, they share five techniques they recommend for easily identifying when a piece of information is false or has been produced to deceive, and how to make sure your own bias doesnt get in the way of knowing when information is not true.

Read the full story: 5 Ways to Spot Misinformation and Disinformation Online

The prevalence of fake news, along with the sheer volume of information we interact with every day, can make it difficult to figure out whats true and whats not. When it comes to false information and especially disinformation, the consequences can be fatal.

Here are a few simple actions we can all do to take control of information in our own lives and reduce the impact that fake news can have in the real world:

When we make the effort to seek out truth, we commit to advancing a world built on honesty, transparency, and perhaps most importantly of all, trust among each other.

Looking for a program that lets you study informations effect on society? Check out our undergraduate and graduate programs at the iSchool.

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Fake News: Why People Believe, How It Spreads, and What You Can Do About It - Syracuse University News

Ministry of Health waging war on fake news pandemic – CTech

A Facebook group named "No to a green passport" had spewed for several weeks a toxic combination of fake news and dangerous calls to action in relation to Covid-19 vaccinations. Even while the national vaccine program is in full throttle and millions of Israelis are responding to the calls to get vaccinated, this group amassed 14,000 followers and continues to spread lies about the vaccine. According to some reports, the group even encouraged its members to make appointments to be vaccinated and then not show up, preventing others from booking an appointment and forcing unused doses of vaccines to be discarded.

The Ministry of Health tracked this almost in real-time and took action, with Facebook eventually removing the group on Sunday. "We set up several months ago a fake news operations room which is composed of citizens that are tracking the net," Health Ministry Deputy Director Einav Shimron-Greenbaum told Calcalist. "We receive many approaches from various sources and when we identify something as fake news, for example, a forgery of the ministry's logo or the use of partial truths or data that isn't relevant to the matter, we go with those lies to the Ministry of Justice's cyber unit. They approach the relevant networks - Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or anywhere else where it appears, and request they remove it. We have had several pages removed that way. We identified the dangers of fake news early on and that is why we contacted the cyber unit, Facebook and all the other relevant bodies in advance."

Shimron-Greenbaum said the ministry isn't just settling for addressing the matter with the major platforms. "There are also instances in which we approach the police."

"When it was reported that there are users that are publishing posts in which they spoke of how they made appointments and didn't show up so that vaccines get thrown out at the end of the day, we turned to the police and they began looking into it. We are a government ministry and we can only use the means of enforcement that we have at our disposal."

"Fake news affects behavior and can influence the decision of whether to be vaccinated or not," explained Karine Nahon, the elected president of the Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL), an Associate Professor of Information Science in the Lauder School of Government and Ofer School of Communications at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya (IDC), and an Affiliated Associate Professor in the Information School at University of Washington (UW).

Facebook is also intensifying its actions against vaccine-related fake news, announcing on Monday that it will be taking stricter measures to crack down on misinformation about vaccines in general, as well as misleading posts related to Covid-19.

Nahon warned, however, that it is important not to take a too extreme approach when it comes to vaccine-related discussions. "People are not being allowed to express their opinion against vaccines. There are people who say that there isn't much information on what the vaccine does and that is true. The entire issue with pregnant women is that it is still unclear how they are affected by the vaccine and yet it is being offered to them. There is no mechanism in place to try and create a tolerant discussion in which people voice their opinions calmly and reasonably amid the onslaught of fake news and half-truths. Fake news ends up coming out on top and then you hear nothing else and there is no discourse."

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Ministry of Health waging war on fake news pandemic - CTech

How to combat the spread of fake news – News24

The fight against the spread of false news or fake news, as it is widely known has been a seemingly endless battle amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has been warning the public since the first wave of Covid-19 infections about the dangers of spreading fake news, and even regarded it as a punishable offence.

Now, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University have found that a possible way of stopping the spread of false news is through the use of fact-checking labels.

The researchers conducted a study that involved two experiments, where a total of 2 683 participants were tasked with reading headlines taken from social media, of which 18 were true and 18 false.

In the treatment conditions, 'true' and 'false' tags appeared before, during, or after participants read each headline, the researchers explain in their paper. Participants could then rate the headlines for accuracy.

There was also a control group who did not see any information about whether the headlines were true or not.

A week after the first experiment, participants were given another opportunity to view the headlines and rate them, but this time the researchers excluded the fact-check information.

Findings of the study indicate that timing is important when correcting fake news: Going into the project, I had anticipated it would work best to give the correction beforehand, so that people already knew to disbelieve the false claim when they came into contact with it, said David Rand, an MIT professor and co-author of the paper.

To my surprise, we actually found the opposite. Debunking the claim after they were exposed to it was the most effective.

The researchers noted that a possible reason why debunking worked better than prebunking is because allowing people to form their own impressions of news headlines, then providing 'true' or 'false' tags afterwards, might act as feedback.

Lead author and cognitive neuroscientist at Harvard University, Nadia M. Brashier, went on to explain: Other research shows that feedback makes correct information 'stick.

Co-author, Adam Berinsky, who is a Professor of Political Science at MIT, explained that this study can be useful for creating tools that can be used on social media platforms in order to combat misinformation being spread online.

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How to combat the spread of fake news - News24

Verified Twitter Users Shared an All-Time-High Amount of Fake News in 2020 – PCMag

The combination of political divisiveness and the COVID-19 pandemic led to fake news running rampant on social media in 2020. That's not really news; but you might be surprised at how fake news was shared. According to The German Marshall Fund of the United States, verified Twitter users shared a significant percentage of deceptive website news by the end of the year.

The GMF discovered that false content producers and manipulators received nearly one third (47 million) of the 155 million verified-account shares in Q4 2020. Overall, false-content-producer shares increased by over 160%, and manipulators increased by nearly 120%, while all US websites increased by a mere 14% in 2020. This has led false-content producers and manipulators to, respectively, triple and double their verified account shares since 2018.

At the top of the chart is the Gateway Pundit, which received more shares from verified Twitter users at the end of the year than The Washington Post. Breitbart received an equal amount of interactions, and Fox News, Just the News, and the Epoch Times ranked higher than NBC News.

Facebook has also contributed to the spread of disinformation, with manipulators growing their interactions 165% over the last four years against just a 75% increase for all US-based sites. In total, deceptive websites received 6.4 billion interactions in 2020, twice the number seen four years ago. In the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, deceptive sites received 1.2 billion interactions, nearly a fourth of the total 5.1 billion interactions for US-based sites.

Many false-content producers and manipulators did see a drastic fall in interactions as a result of Facebook changing its algorithm. But RedStateObserver.com still managed to receive more interactions than the Wall Street Journal in the fourth quarter of 2020. Newsmax also managed to beat out the Los Angeles Times in that same time period.

Given the results that were collected this past year, the GMF is comfortable confirming that the actions made by Facebook and Twitter to stop the spread of fake news proved to be effective. Hopefully, these platforms will continue their efforts to manage the content people publish and share. In the meantime, here are several tools to help identify what's real and what's fake news.

Further Reading

Social Media Reviews

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Verified Twitter Users Shared an All-Time-High Amount of Fake News in 2020 - PCMag

Egypt: Cartoonist arrested over allegations of spreading fake news – Freemuse

Image: Cartoon / Egyptoon on Facebook

24 January 2021: State security forces arrested cartoonist Ashraf Hamdi on false news charges at his home in Giza for posting a video on Facebook dedicated to Egypts 2011 revolution, reported Reuters.

The video was removed from Facebook.

According to Reuters, the videos publication coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, which toppled then-President Hosni Mubarak.

In the since-removed video, Hamdi included a character speaking about freedom and revolution.

I am the voice when the world wants silence. Im the one who stood in the face of injustice, corruption, tyranny, the character in the video said, reported Middle East Eye.

Hamdi was allegedly accused of having misused social media sites and disseminated fake news, both criminal offences but authorities have not disclosed a specific reason for his arrest, reported Committee to Protect Journalists.

His arrest follows the extension of emergency laws that Egypts Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued ahead of the revolutions anniversary.

Thousands of people reacted to a post the artist uploaded to his personal Facebook account, saying Im getting arrested. They expressed great concern about the whereabouts of the artist.

Posted by Ashraf Hamdi onSunday, January 24, 2021

Hamdi is recognised for his cartoon blog Egyptoon. It showcases Egypts social and political matters through cartoon characters in a humorous way.

His Egyptoons YouTube channel counts with more than three million subscribers and its Facebook page, with over 1.2 million followers.

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Egypt: Cartoonist arrested over allegations of spreading fake news - Freemuse

Ruling party accelerates legislation drive to curb fake news – The Korea Herald

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Tuesday vowed to legislate a set of bills that would increase the burden of responsibility of news media, internet portals, YouTubers and bloggers for fake or false news.

"We decided to push for legislation under the principle that news media and internet portals should be included among the subjects of punitive compensation," DP spokesman Rep. Choi In-ho told reporters after a meeting of the party's task force on media reform. The party will make efforts to get the relevant bills passed at the National Assembly this month, he added.

Earlier, the task force selected six bills -- including one seeking to allow a victim of fraudulent or illegitimate information circulated online to sue those responsible for the information's spreading for triple the amount of indemnity allowed under current law -- for the party's supreme council to push to legislate in the ongoing monthlong extra parliamentary session.

The governing party currently commands 174 of the 300 parliamentary seats.

The legislative initiative came as whirlwinds of unfounded claims or rumors circulated on YouTube, social media networks and the internet have posed a major challenge to administering state affairs, such as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as safeguarding the privacy of individuals.

During a party supreme council meeting last week, DP Chairman Rep. Lee Nak-yon described fake news and other reports with "malicious" intent as "anti-social crimes," vowing to legislate related acts during the February parliamentary session.

"It is unavoidable to take the minimum necessary actions to safeguard the rights and honor of the people and maintain society's safety and trust," Lee said, instructing the party task force to get the bills passed through the National Assembly.

The six bills under consideration propose revising the promotion of information and communications networks act, the press arbitration act and the criminal act, respectively, in a bid to clamp down on fake news and boost compensations to victims for damage incurred by such unfounded reports.

One of the bills -- a revision to the press arbitration act -- seeks to enable blocking press reports on the internet if they are found to have inflicted damage through online news circulation.

Another proposed revision to the criminal act aims to newly include television and other broadcasters among those to be punished along with newspaper and magazine publishers and radio broadcasters if found guilty of defamation.

Unarguably, the most controversial of the six bills is a revision to the communications networks act proposed by Rep. Yoon Young-chan.

The bill seeks to allow a victim of fraudulent or illegitimate information circulated online to sue those responsible for the information's spreading for triple the amount of indemnity allowed under current law as part of "punitive" accumulated compensation.

At the center of the party's debate on the bill has been whether news outlets and internet portals should be also among those to be regulated by the proposed legislation.

The bill previously targeted YouTubers or other internet users, but the party task force decided Tuesday to include news outlets and internet portals among the subjects of the proposed act.

Opposition parties, including the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), however, vehemently denounced the legislation drive as aimed at "gagging" the news media.

"What the DP describes as a reform only intends to cut out the arms and legs of those they don't like and gas them," PPP spokesperson Kim Ye-ryeong said last week.

Even if the bills are passed into law as the DP plans, however, they are expected to leave too much room for dispute when it comes to implementation as the proposals left the critical question of how to define fake news unanswered.

An official at the party task force said it will seek a separate law on how to define fake news over the long run in accordance with the due procedures under the National Assembly Act, leaving the issue up to further discussion in the future.(Yonhap)

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Ruling party accelerates legislation drive to curb fake news - The Korea Herald

Totally Not Fake News: The Great Debate Within the Houston Texans Front Office – Battle Red Blog

HOUSTON, TX Come Sunday, with the completion of the Super Bowl, the off-season will be upon us all. Between figuring out what to do about free agents to planning out draft boards, the off-season is not remotely close to relaxing for the 32 NFL franchises. For the 7 teams that saw turnover in the head coaching ranks, there is even more work to do. All of the above issues, in addition to figuring out how the new leadership teams will adapt to the organization. all of this in the still-ongoing pandemic.

The Houston Texans are no exception to the daunting off-season tasks. With a new Head Coach and General Manager, the team can move on to other matters. Yet, even among the teams that must integrate new leadership, the Texans are already running into significant hurdles, previously unforeseen and of a level that threaten the governing philosophy of the team.

What could those issues be? Is it the fact that the Texans project to be $18 million over the new salary cap? Is the fact that of the teams eight draft picks in 2021, none of them are higher than the third round, and over half are day three selections? What of the fact that the team faces some major questions about the future of stars like J.J. Watt and Will Fuller?

Well, I guess those are important football things to be worrying about pondered new GM Nick Caserio. However, that is not even close to the biggest concern we have going right now.

When pressed about what could be bigger than the aforementioned issues, to include the status of the teams relationship with disgruntled franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, Caserio only shrugged. Trust me, we are facing bigger, existential concerns about the team. Even bigger than how things got so [kittened] up with Watson. Yep, we are currently in a fight about the best type of worship service we want to hold as a team.

Worship Services for the Team? our reporter could only exclaim.

Yes noted a weary Caserio. Ever since we brought over [Dave] Culley and [Lovie] Smith, the Holy Trinity has been hard at work debating the worship procedures for the team.

It all goes back to the Holy Trinity. You see, the driving force behind these debates is Easterby. He is much more of a contemporary service type guy. Thinks that this allows for greater young people participation, and will help solve our team morale and ticket sales. He figures that if we do the contemporary services during home games, we can make up revenue real quick. Could possibly increase game attendance post-COVID. He even went so far as to say that if we, as an organization, implemented the contemporary service, we can easily sway Watson and get him back into the fold.

However, Cal is more old school. He is more of a traditional service guy, with the classic hymns and the regulated sermons. Thinks that Watson will dig the regimented order. Wasnt quite as keen to implement [services] during the games but was open to having the worship service in the mornings before kickoff.

Rootes, well, he is more of the televangelist style. Whatever drives the team towards the optimal prosperity gospel action for the team to help revenues, he is all for.

At this point, Caserio sighs. I keep trying to tell these guys So, what do you want to do about Watson? I cant even so much as go to the bathroom without getting phone calls and text messages about proposed trade deals for Watson. I think I even got an offer from a team in Shanghai. The Jets, the Dolphins, the Raiders, the Montreal Alouettes, the Yankees, the Texas Rangers, the Democratic Party in Texas...they all want to talk deals for Watson. Of course they all suck. Best offer I saw was for a 2025 7th rounder, a bag of magic beans and a slightly used NSRV Bible. Guess they figure that I am like the last boob, er, BOB that ran this office

All I ask is for someone to let me actually make a decision. Instead, all I get from Easterby or Cal is So, Nick, what do you think about the hymn lineup for the season. Should we go with Im Alive and Here I am to Worship on repeat for the first halftime, or should we try The Rock of All Ages? The Rock of All Ages would be a great defensive anthem, no? What do you think?

This job is driving me to meth real quick.

We tried to reach out to members of the Holy Trinity for their inputs. We did receive an email message from Easterby:

Will you mean sinners and social media trolls take the hint? Why do you disturb and disrupt my holy mission to save souls at NFL games? I have been blessed by the Lord on high for this most holy of missions. As I keep telling Cal [when he is sober] the best way to save the corrupt souls of the NFL world and offer the salvation of the Lord is to bring in as many thirsty souls as possible, so that they may partake of the quenching water that is the world of God. The best way to do that is by plugging the contemporary service game experience for the Home Games for 2021. This will bring the young people in droves. Just look at my previous work:

Our reporter replied Wont attendance be better served by fixing the personnel disparities and maybe trying to resolve the dispute with Watson?

The Most Exalted Easterby replied When Watson hears about what we plan to do with the game experience, and how we plan to bring the Lord more into the execution of the team, he will come around. He has willed it that Watson will win the Super Bowl, and I, er, the team, will profit from this action.

We called back to Caserio to ask a few follow-up questions. Oh, I dont know where Culley or Smith stand on this right now. I dont know where they come down on the contemporary vs. traditional debate. Guess I will know soon enough. Well, if there

Caserio received a ping on his cellphone that did not seem to come from another team, but from the Texans front office.

Theyve come to a major decision!!! he states Lets seethe team has decreed thatthey will only...be using grape juice for the communion services for the team. Apparently, Cal was not happy about that, but Easterby overruled him.

Looks like we have solved one the biggest debates of the off-season. Should bode well. Stated Caserio in as flat a voice as possible, although he could barely hide the massive eye roll.

Caserio bid us farewell. However, as we left the Zoom chat, we notice that he was taking out a black zipper bag with what looked like a needle or two and some clear liquid.

Ahhhhhhhso much better! exclaimed a voice a minute later (apparently, he had forgotten to completely log off the computer.)

On that note, we bid all a great day, and wish to leave all readers with these last, uplifting thoughts to make the rest of your day:

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Totally Not Fake News: The Great Debate Within the Houston Texans Front Office - Battle Red Blog


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