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Haryana law on educational bar stayed for panchayat polls

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Thursday, stayed the Haryana law which required aspiring panchayat election candidates to have cleared their class 10 examination. The decision would prove to be a setback for the Manohar Lal Khattar government.

supreme_court_1514205gA bench of Justice J Chelameswar stayed the operation of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015, passed by the state assembly on September 7, after the petition challenging the amended law was mentioned before the court.

While staying the operation of the amended provision providing for educational qualifications for contesting the local body elections, the court also issued notice to the Haryana government and the Election Commission.

Under the amended law, a person from the general category should have passed the class 10 examinations and a Dalit should have passed class 8 to be eligible to contest the local body elections.

The court was moved by the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s woman wing, the All India Democratic Women Association, Rajbala and others.

The court order came after senior counsel Sanjay Parikh and Kirti Singh, appearing for the petition, mentioned the matter before the court.

(IANS)

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Reach Of “Fake News” During Elections May Not Be as Extensive as Feared, Says Research

The research, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, showed that untrustworthy websites accounted for only six per cent of all Americans' news diets on average during the period before and immediately after the U.S. presidential election

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Fake News
Online misinformation is a serious problem, but one that we can only address appropriately if we know the magnitude of the problem. Pixabay

The reach of the so called “fake news” websites during elections may not be as widespread as commonly feared as researchers have found that visits to untrustworthy websites only account for a small portion of a voter’s news diet.

The research, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, showed that untrustworthy websites accounted for only six per cent of all Americans’ news diets on average during the period before and immediately after the U.S. presidential election.

Less than half of all Americans visited an untrustworthy website during the period, said the study. The Rea”These findings show why we need to measure exposure to ‘fake news’ rather than just assuming it is ubiquitous online,” said Brendan Nyhan, Professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, US.

“Online misinformation is a serious problem, but one that we can only address appropriately if we know the magnitude of the problem,” Nyhan said.

To assess the audience for “fake news,” the researchers measured visits to these dubious websites during the period before and immediately after the election using an online survey of 2,525 Americans and web traffic data collected by YouGov Pulse between October 7-November 16, 2016 from respondents’ laptops or desktop computers.

The U.S. presidential election that year was held on November 8. Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the election.

The results of the study showed that visits to dubious news sites differed sharply along ideological and partisan lines. Content from untrustworthy conservative sites accounted for nearly five per cent of people’s news diets compared to less than one per cent for untrustworthy liberal sites.

Fake, Fake News, Media, Laptop, Internet, Computer
The reach of the so called “fake news” websites during elections may not be as widespread as commonly feared as researchers have found that visits to untrustworthy websites only account for a small portion of a voter’s news diet. Pixabay

Respondents who identified themselves as Trump supporters were also more likely to visit an untrustworthy site (57 per cent) than those who indicated that they were Clinton supporters (28 per cent). The data also revealed that Facebook was the most prominent gateway to untrustworthy websites.

Respondents were more likely to have visited Facebook than Google, Twitter or a webmail platform such as Gmail in the period immediately before visiting an untrustworthy website. Finally, the study demonstrates that fact-checking websites appeared to be relatively ineffective in reaching the audiences of untrustworthy websites.

ALSO READ: 29% People in US Have an Unfavourable View of Facebook: Survey

Only 44 per cent of respondents who visited such a website also visited a fact-checking site during the study, and almost none of them had read a fact-check debunking specific claims made in a potentially questionable article. (IANS)