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  • Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu Warns Hamas it Will Pay a 'High Price' for the Gaza Strip's Deadly Escalation
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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


Perspectives | The Armenia-Azerbaijan war: What is peace and why compromise?

Mutually exclusive interpretations of the words “peace” and “compromise” block any capacity to imagine a future together.

Marina Nagai and Sophia Pugsley /Eurasianet

Armenian military equipment attempted to redeploy in the daytime, was destroyed by artillery fire by Azerbaijan forces Photo Courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Azerbijan

There is a common acknowledgement that the war is about identities, sacred values, and conflicting histories, but there has been staggeringly little understanding of how big a role public attitudes and sentiment play in political decision-making. Indeed, decisions in Baku and Yerevan are more often explained using hard security and geopolitical terms. An example of this, which came as a surprise for many, was the mass discontent and spontaneous mobilization in Baku following clashes with Armenia in July, when thousands of people took to the streets to call for an armed resolution to the conflict and signed up to volunteer on the front line.

At the end of 2018, the peacebuilding NGO International Alert conducted a qualitative study of public attitudes in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh. This study was, in many ways, eye-opening and deeply worrying as, despite its purpose to envision peace, it found overwhelming acceptance of violence and human sacrifice as the only way to solve this conflict; many felt war was inevitable.

For example, when respondents stated a preference for “peace,” definitions differed radically, underscoring why it has proven so elusive: an absence of violence, a ceasefire, and stability for Armenians; restoration of what they see as historical justice through the return of IDPs and lands, dignity and international order for Azerbaijanis. These mutually exclusive interpretations of the word “peace” keep the sides in parallel universes and block any capacity to imagine a peace together.

Political leaders benefit from an ambiguous, rhetorical use of “peace,” mostly for external audiences. Over decades of working on and in the Nagorny-Karabakh context, we have seen the ebbs and flows of the mediation process with phases of “creating more favorable conditions for preparing public opinion for peace” in 2007, “facilitating people-to-people contact for peace” in 2014 and, most recently, “preparing the populations for peace” in 2019.

Similarly, compromise – a contentious, even taboo notion which arouses strong reactions on all sides of the conflict – is understood differently. Each side accepts compromise, but only from the opposite party; there is little reflection on what’s concessions societies and individuals are prepared to make themselves. The essential reciprocity, in which both parties give up something that they want in order to get something else they want more, is perceived as loss and an outright humiliation. Of course, some things cannot be compromised on because they cut to the core of an individual’s or group’s identity or survival. That said, unrealistic expectations delegitimize the opponent’s fears, hopes and aspirations, removing the other side from the equation altogether.

In recent days, while we are all grasping at any sign of hope for the region, it is remarkable to see that there have been desperate calls for peace from Armenians and Azerbaijanis around the world. But beyond the undisputedly symbolic and signaling value of such calls lies a challenge for peacebuilding work, as “peace” is neither ceasefire, appeasement, nor absence of war.

Peace is when people manage disagreements without violence and engage in inclusive social change processes that improve the quality of life for everyone. This is the idea of interdependent, “positive” peace that drives painstaking efforts to transform this conflict. However dry and academic they may appear, these concepts and definitions are important in the meanings they carry. Unpacking these meanings is the basis for what societies do to achieve peace, depending on how they – ordinary citizens, not political and intellectual elites – imagine and conceptualize it.

It is for a good reason that monitoring and influencing public opinion has been a key part of peace processes in other contexts, such as Northern Ireland. One place to start in the Karabakh conflict is to listen, understand, and engage with what ordinary people feel and think. This engagement means supporting them in their own search for peace; this search will likely be the hardest thing they will have ever faced, requiring considerable courage, long-term commitment, and tenacity to overcome difficulties and failures along the way.

Marina Nagai and Sophia Pugsley work on peace-building initiatives in the South Caucasus with International Alert.

This story was originally published by Eurasianet Eurasianet © 2020

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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.

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