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  • 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

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Tiny African Nation of Lesotho Proposes Social Media Limits

Lesotho Map

Journalists and media freedom activists are objecting to a government proposal in the African nation of Lesotho to restrict social media, saying it amounts to stifling speech for everyone in the nation of 2 million people.

The set of regulations, introduced for debate by lawmakers this week, would require all social media users with more than 100 followers to register as “internet broadcasters” — a move that would, in turn, require them to abide by the same rules that govern broadcast media houses. It would also allow regulators to investigate social media users’ posts and even order them to remove them.

“Lesotho is following in the footsteps of Tanzania in seeking to regulate online content creators,” the Media Institute of Southern Africa, a media monitoring group, said in a statement, adding that this “could be a pretext to curb freedom of expression and digital rights.”

Journalist Rapeland Radebe covers Lesotho from neighboring South Africa, for South Africa’s state broadcaster and others. When VOA spoke to him on Thursday, he had more than 8,300 Twitter followers.

“The law itself, it’s really, draconian, for lack of a better word, to try and say you need to regulate anyone who has more than 100 participants,” he told VOA. “… I think it’s nothing short of absurd, really.”

African governments are regularly accused of trying to police social media. For years, different governments have been accused of cutting access to the internet during times of unrest. Internet freedom monitors say that is precisely what the government of Guinea is planning to do ahead of a contentious election this weekend.

But other nations have used their laws to limit social media, like Tanzania, which recently passed a set of regulations that seek to punish social media users who “ridicule, abuse or harm the reputation, prestige or status of the United Republic of Tanzania.” Last year, Kenya passed a similar law, sparking outrage from journalists and academics.

“It is difficult to understand what problem the bill seeks to cure other than to try and introduce online censorship,” John Walubengo, a lecturer at the Multimedia University of Kenya, wrote in an editorial in one of the country’s most prominent newspapers.

VOA asked Lesotho’s prime minister, Moeketsi Majoro, to comment on the proposed law. He did not respond to several requests seeking comment, and has not directly addressed the matter on Twitter, where his official account has about 7,100 followers.

And, Radebe noted the regulations could be impossible to enforce. Lesotho is an enclave nation surrounded on all sides by South Africa, and the affairs of both countries are intimately entwined. So, he said, anyone using a South African SIM card or network to post on social media would technically be subject to South Africa’s looser regulations.

But, he notes, the proposed restrictions pose a unique problem for many of the nation’s small broadcasters, which use the internet to reach out to listeners beyond the mountainous nation that in recent years has struggled with political instability.

Radebe predicts that most Lesotho residents will continue to tweet, post and live their online lives as normal.

“I don’t think this is going to come close to even scaring anyone with any sense of decency,” he said. “In fact, what you are going to do is create unnecessary animosity, by turning ordinary law-abiding citizens into criminals.”

He saidthe law doesn’t make any sense in the 21st century when people use social media in their everyday lives.

“These are the tools that ordinary poor people use to organize their businesses, their social groupings, for funerals, for family — many other reasons,” he says. “And to implement some sort of regulation towards that — what is the intention?”

VOA

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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 www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co 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

www.who.int

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.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

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 a.re 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 info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+916289017966

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