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Karnataka BJP lawmaker sparks row with rape remark

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Bengaluru: Karnataka’s BJP lawmaker KS Eshwarappa on Saturday sparked a controversy with his remarks on rape incidents in the state. He later said his remarks had been taken out of context but expressed regret if he had hurt or offended anyone.

Replying to a query on why his Bharatiya Janata Party was silent on the heinous crime being perpetrated even on minor girls in the state, he asked a local news channel journalist what he could do if someone abducted and raped her.

“You are a woman and here now. If someone drags you and rapes you, what can we do as we (opposition people) would be somewhere else,” Eshwarappa retorted on the margins of an event at Ramanagara, about 50 km from here.

The former deputy chief minister in the BJP government is currently the leader of opposition in the legislative council.

Taking objection to Eshwarappa’s offensive remarks, television and print media journalists complained to the party’s leaders, including former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who decried and said the remark was not in good taste.

When a section of the outraged media complained to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, he played down the issue, saying: “When he (Eshwarappa) spoke seriously, he always speaks lightly.”

Asked why the BJP was not holding the Congress government responsible for such crimes, Eshwarappa had retorted: “You tell me what we need to do. We will do it. We have criticised the government in the house when a six-year-old girl was sexually abused in the city last year.”

When his remarks were condemned by political leaders, social activists and women groups, a rattled Eshwarappa hastened to clarify that his comments were twisted out of context.

“I have highest respect for women and consider them as sisters and girls as daughters. My reply has been distorted, as I was expressing their plight in anguish due to weak law and order in the state,” he said.

Expressing regret if his remarks had hurt the journalist and offended women, Eshwarappa said he was only trying to highlight the deteriorating law and order situation in the state where anyone could be raped anywhere.

(IANS)

 

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Facebook Rolls Out Fact-Checking News In Karnataka

Facebook announces fact-checking news in the poll-bound Karnataka

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Facebook not ready for online payments. Pixabay

With Karnataka heading for the polls in May, Facebook has announced a third-party fact-checking programme in the state to fight spread of fake news on its platform.

The social media giant on Tuesday partnered with BOOM, an independent digital journalism initiative, for a pilot programme that will first roll out in the southern state.

Karnataka goes to election on May 12, and the counting of votes will take place on May 15.

Vote poll in Karnataka
Vote Poll. Pixabay

“Starting today, BOOM, certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, non-partisan international fact checking network at Poynter, will be able to review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook has 217 million monthly active users in India.

“We are beginning small and know it is important to learn from this test and listen to our community as we continue to update ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed,” it added.

Once a story is rated as false, Facebook has learned to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent.

Also Read: Want To Know What Facebook, Google Know About You?

“When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This, in turn, stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it,” Facebook said.

Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetise and advertise removed.

Facebook
Facebook. Pixabay

If the third-party fact-checkers write articles debunking a false news story, Facebook will show it in “Related Articles” immediately below the story in News Feed.

“We’ll also send people and Page Admins notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false,” Facebook noted.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it is important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

Also Read: Facebook clarifies how it collects data when you’re logged out

“Our goals are to understand Facebook’s impact on upcoming elections — like Brazil, India, Mexico and the US midterms — and to inform our future product and policy decisions,” he said while testifying before the US Congress last week.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he told a panel of 44 Senators.

Zuckerberg said Facebook will ensure that its platform is not misused to influence elections in India and elsewhere.  IANS

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