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India shouldn’t change political course on Tibet: Rijiju

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Baijnath (Himachal Pradesh): India should not change its political path when it comes to Tibet, keeping in mind the long traditional relationship between the two countries, union minister Kiren Rijiju said on Saturday.

“India has a long tradition of relations with Tibet and its dharma gurus (religious leaders). India should not change its political path. India is the land of Gautam Buddha and the land of Mahatma Gandhi,” said Rijiju.

Rijiju was addressing the Tibetan community at the Palpung Sherabling Monastery, seven km from Baijnath, on the occasion of Guru Padma Sambhava maha puja on Saturday.

Veteran BJP leader and former chief minister Shanta Kumar was also present on the occasion.

“Indians and Tibetans have a spiritual relationship. Guru Padma Sambhava went to Tibet and at a later day, Buddhism returned to India in its purest form,” said Rijiju.

“The Dalai Lama said India is the guru and Tibet is the ‘chela’ (disciple). But it is a very dependable chela.”

On the occasion, the head of the monastic seat, the 12th Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa remembered his arrival in India as a child of five years in 1959.

“The monastery could be set up in India because of the kindness of the people of India and the government of India. I came here as a child when the Dalai Lama came here. We should thank the people of India. Thank you,” the Tai Situpa said.

Rijiju further stressed the role of religious leaders in containing the threat of violence faced by society.

“Only the government and the security forces cannot stop the violence. We have to depend on the dharma gurus to spread the message of peace,” he added.

(IANS)

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Twitter Takes Multiple Steps To Curb Misinformation Before Elections in India

More than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter is taking “multi-variable” steps, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, to curb the spread of misleading information on its platform ahead of 2019 general election in India, Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said here on Monday.

Addressing a Town Hall-style meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D), Dorsey said fake news is a way too big category.

“The real problem is not misinformation per se as jokes can also be categorised as misinfomation. But misinformation that is spread with the intent to mislead people is a real problem,” stressed the Twitter CEO who is in India on a week-long maiden visit.

Dorsey, who got a rousing reception at IIT-D with the students wildly cheering the young entrepreneur, likened solving the problem of misleading information to that of addressing a security issue, or building a lock.

Twitter, India
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

“No one can build a perfect lock, but we need to stay ahead of our attackers. AI could probably help,” Dorsey told the audience.

Earlier in the day, the Twitter CEO met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed various steps the social network was taking to curb the spread of fake news and boost healthy conversation on its platform.

Dorsey also met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama over the weekend. He was also expected to meet Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the wake of the growing criticism over Twitter’s role in the spread of misinformation and fake news as India faces Assembly polls in five states in November-December ahead of next year’s general elections.

Twitter, India
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter, along with other social media platforms, including Facebook, came under intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US for their failure to stop the spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts on their platforms during the 2016 Presidential election.

The micro-blogging site since then has stepped up its efforts to curb the spread of divisive messages and fake news on its platform.

To further protect the integrity of elections, Twitter recently announced that it would now delete fake accounts engaged in a variety of emergent, malicious behaviour.

India, elections
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the ‘Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi, India, VOA

As part of the new rules, accounts that deliberately mimic or are intended to replace accounts that were previously suspended for violating rules may be identified as fake accounts, Twitter said recently.

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom to Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

However, according to a Knight Foundation study released in October, more than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation during the 2016 US election are still active. (IANS)