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  • Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media
  • Check Whether Photos Are Original or Photoshopped or Out of Context Pictures
  • Check Google images for Authenticity-You Can Find Help from Google Reverse Images Search
  • Beware of Fake News Websites Which Run by People With No Journalism Background to Promote Their Own Ideology
  • Check the News Sources from Other Websites Whether They Picked Up the Story or Not
  • Forwarding Social Media Messages from Unknown Sources or Little Known Sources, It Would be Better to Ignore Them
  • You Can Easily Identify Fake Messages if the Message Requests You to Share
  • Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred
  • Always Check Fact Checking Sites if You Have Some Doubts About the Authenticity of Any Information or Picture


Bars Closed, New Orleans Scrambles to Watch Debates in New Ways During COVID Shutdown

Used only for Illustration Purpose

T. Cole Newton began hosting presidential debate watch parties at his New Orleans, Louisiana bar in 2012. 

“It was a business decision as much as anything else,” Newton told VOA. “I knew my regulars would want to watch as much as I did, so we made an event out of it.” 

His bar is Twelve Mile Limit, a cross between a neighborhood dive and a cocktail bar, and he said it routinely fills up during their watch parties.   

“Even during the primary debates, we’d be packed like a sports bar during a football game! Lots of beer, snacks, and hootin’ and hollerin’. We get way busier for debates than even big games.”   

In 2020, however, watch parties like Newton’s are no longer permitted as local officials continue to impose restrictions on businesses and social gatherings in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In New Orleans, for example, bars have remained closed for months.

This has left residents like Glennis Waterman unsure of where she’ll watch Tuesday evening’s debate, the first between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden. Waterman said she prefers viewing debates with others because of the sense of community she feels watching with like-minded people.   

“I’m not sure what I’m going to do this year,” she said. “If the bars open, I’d go. If not, I hope to join a friend at her house.”   

Waterman said a virtual gathering on a platform like Zoom wouldn’t satisfy her desire for companionship, and that she knows watching alone would be frustrating for her. 
“I want to be able to share my feelings about the debate with others,” she explained. “I’m sure I’m going to be varying degrees of joyful, amused and angry. I want to share that.” 

Debating the value of a debate 

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week reported that 89% of eligible voters in the United States said they have already made up their mind on whom they will vote for. There seems to be general consensus that there isn’t much new to be learned about these two well-known candidates, particularly during a time of intense political division.   

“I can’t imagine there’s anything new we could possibly learn about either candidate,” said Colin Ash, who added that — while he considers himself politically active — he doesn’t find much value in the debates beyond entertainment. “They are who they are, and most all of us will have decided who we’re voting for months ago, if not years ago.”   

Aaron Luther said he has enjoyed watching past debates at a neighborhood sports bar but agreed that whatever is said is unlikely to affect how most Americans cast their vote. Still, he believes debates address a problem unique to modern politics.   

“So much of our lives and our political discourse now happens online and on our devices,” Luther said, noting that the algorithms on those devices often give users information that reinforces their unique worldview and preferences. “It isn’t seen or shared by others.”   

The debates, he hoped, could offer something different.

“They’re one of the few remaining parts of American culture that are best watched live and with others,” he said. “The reactions and follow-ups to the debate will most likely happen in our own little online bubbles, but the debate itself happens live and we can all watch the same thing the same way.”   

Luther, a Biden supporter, prefers to watch the debates at a bar so he can enjoy the communal experience. He said he’ll look to see who’s showing the debate in a COVID-safe way, but if he can’t, he has a back-up plan. 

“I’ll be happy to watch at home with a negroni [cocktail],” he said. “Or, half-a-dozen negronis, depending on how the debate goes.”   

New options   

“It’s unfortunate Twelve Mile Limit has to cancel all our events this year,” Newton said, “but it’s absolutely the right thing to do. It’s not worth getting somebody sick over.”   

As many debate-watching options disappear, however, New Orleanians are finding new ways to watch that attempt to balance the desire for community with the need for safety. 

Laura Beauchamp, who works in the energy industry, said she has watched nearly every presidential debate since she was a student in junior high school. She believes that in a time that is so politically divided, it’s important to hear both sides of issues directly from the candidates. For all the debates she’s watched, though, Beauchamp said this was the first year she wanted to view them with others.

“I’ve always preferred to watch alone,” she said, “but COVID has changed that. I miss people!” 

She found a local movie theater that will be showing Tuesday night’s debate. Because movie theaters in New Orleans can’t exceed 25% capacity, Beauchamp felt the experience would be a safe one. She also sees it as an opportunity to support small businesses struggling to stay open during the pandemic and the resultant economic shutdown.   

“So many places are closing, so it’s critical we support local businesses during COVID,” she said. “Buying a movie ticket to watch this debate I already want to see is a really easy way to do that.”   

While many Americans excitedly prepare to tune in as the candidates for president square off on important domestic and international issues, a lack of other options caused by the coronavirus shutdown could prompt even those who might normally skip the debate to watch.    

“If I had something better to do, I’d do it,” said Colin Ash. “But I don’t.” 


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How to identify Fake News or Messages on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is the duplicate one might be or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

Follow WHO guidelines

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us or Whats App:+916289017966

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