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ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsWe are at a loss of words following the coordinated series of deadly terror attacks in Sri Lanka that ripped through some churches and hotels, killing and injuring hundreds of people. Well, you know what happens when a nation gets hit with terror attacks? Spread of misinformation, violence, and God knows what else. Well, it's not happening in this case, as the Sri Lankan officials blocked several social media networks, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Viber, YouTube, and more. It was done over concerns that the attacks would trigger waves of misinformation, violence and hate speech. © Reuters Presidential advisor Harindra Dassanayake told The New York Times that the decision to block access to social media sites was a “unilateral decision”. As of now, it's not entirely clear as to when this ban will be lifted, but it does make a lot of sense since most of the panicking often happens on or after reading dozens of articles spreading fake news on social media platforms. The move to ban social media, however, isn't unprecedented. Sri Lanka itself issued a temporary ban on social media sites after the riots fueled by Facebook misinformation spread. In fact, we've seen something similar in India too, and networks like Facebook and WhatsApp were blocked in the wake of riots. © Reuters But is the ban really helping? Well, there's no way to tell, but resorting to such measures does make sense since a lot of countries do struggle with viral and violent misinformation spread on social media during such events.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsThe age of the internet can lead to a zillion debacles within seconds. It's become a place where rumours and fake updates travel like wildfire and threaten to destroy the peace and sanity we possess as a society, thanks to a handful of tech-savvy, active internet operatives, who never fail to cease the chance to have a few jesting moments. © pixabay-free to use What they don't realise, however, is that such misrepresentations and sarcastic pieces have the power to whip up abundant trouble online, while the repercussions dribble slowly onto the offline space. Since we got a taste of our share of having to deal with the fakes, here's giving you an update on the ones that you must steer clear of ASAP. To Give You A Better Idea © pixabay-free to use While you must have already figured it out for yourself, this story gives you a quick heads up on some of the fake news that is steadily surfacing on the internet and social media around the Kerala floods. All you need to do is identify them and nip in the bud before it turns into a pain in the arse for unassuming folks like many of us. Fake News Alert 1 The most recent piece of information, or rather misleading information, that's surfaced across a number of social media channels is this rant by someone who goes by the name of Suresh Kochattil, who has now also been identified as an aspiring politician. As can be seen from the post above, Kochattil is seen claiming that the elites of Kerala would not care for people's handouts and one must check with proper authorities before sending across materials, since as per his personal research, more than 200 truck-loads of material are waiting at Coimbatore and Mysore. Thus, what people need is manpower and skilled labourers, plumbers, electricians and the likes, instead of money and materials since most Malayalis are rich people with ample money. Naturally, he has been bashed for his statements by the public for his uninvited claims and statements. Fake News Alert 2 Imposter wearing Army combat uniform in video spreading disinformation about rescue & relief efforts. Every effort by all & #IndianArmy aimed to overcome this terrifying human tragedy.Forward disinformation about #IndianArmy on WhatsApp +917290028579. We are at it #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/ncUR7tCkZW — ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) August 19, 2018 The Indian Army took to Twitter in a measure to prevent the fake news formulated by a man identified as Unni Nair, who is also an ex-serviceman, in the form of a video message spreading false information about the relief work being carried out by the paramilitary and the government in the flood-hit areas of Kerala. The Indian Army as well as Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan have condemned such acts and have warned that stringent action will be taken against the culprits. Which is why we say, cross-check before you send that forward. Fake News Alert 3 © Twitter Though this story might have been put together as a satirical piece, it has backfired big time! A “satirical news portal” published a fake story on the floods claiming that a man lost his life after he refused to wear a saffron coloured life jacket that was offered to him during rescue operations because the colour is affiliated with Hindutva. Perhaps this was meant to be a critique of what our nation has come to of late. But that aspect of our society could have been mirrored in a different manner and not by playing on people's sentiments in a time of crisis, and surely not by adding political colour to it in order to invigorate people's political differences. © pixabay-free to use There might just be more of such fake news lurking in the shadows to pounce upon unassuming people and we must be wary of them. This menace is only hurting those who are actually trying to do some good in the flood-ravaged state.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsFake News - the term has been trending for the past few months and it will continue to do so, until strict measures aren't deployed. Basically, fake news consists of propaganda or spreading of false information to further one's agenda. The term has been used extensively by U.S. President Donald Trump on multiple occasions and the effects of this menace are being witnessed in India as well. © Reuters In India, fake news has already caused the deaths of innocent citizens and journalists. Inflamed by fake warnings of child-trafficking rings or organ harvesters sent via WhatsApp, people have resorted to vigilante justice. The government has been calling for “immediate action to end this menace" and is closely working with companies to prevent the spread of unverified information. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been at the center of the issue, because it is the most widely used Instant Messenger in India and hardly has any mechanism in place to prevent the spread of information. The messages sent across the app are encrypted as well, hence law enforcement authorities have negligible chances of tracking the source of these messages. © WhatsApp WhatsApp has now released an update that adds a "Forwarded" label to messages that are simply being sent over from other users. It may seem like a minor addition, but the company says it can help people categorize fake news and other types of misinformation. "It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent, or if it originally came from someone else," WhatsApp said in a statement. "Question information that upsets you", says WhatsApp's full-page advertisements. Clearly the solution to declining newspaper ad revenues in India will come from how we tackle our digital fake news crisis. pic.twitter.com/3h5XyJeMIr — Anuj Srivas (@AnujSrivas) July 10, 2018 The app has also put out full-page newspaper ads across the country, in an attempt to bring the attention of users to the issue. In a way, the company is trying to let the users know that not all information received is accurate and the forward label highlights that the information is simply being passed on and isn't verified. The company is also exploring the use of machine learning techniques to identify malicious content and said it was testing a method to identify forwards. Rumors on WhatsApp have led to the death of nearly 31 people in 10 states over the past one year. "As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help," the statement said.