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PDP-BJP coalition failed to provide good governance: Farooq Abdullah

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Jammu:  Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday called for an united effort to maintaining communal harmony to thwart divisive forces.

Addressing mass communication post graduates here, he underscored the crucial role of media in promoting spirit of inclusiveness in diverse Indian society, especially at a time when fringe elements were out to destroy the time-tested fabric of religious harmony and unity.

“As long as we remain united, nobody will be able to weaken us,” Abdullah said adding that intolerance has no place in a country that has potential of taking the world along at the strength of its glorious ethos.

“Here I invoke your important role as budding journalists to expose those who incite passions for furthering their political agenda and help in strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood between various segments of society,” he said.

He maintained it is the duty of the central government to rein in the fringe jingoistic elements which are creating an atmosphere of frenzy by inciting passions.

“Loose cannons cannot be left free to generate animosity among the communities,” he asserted.

He expressed confidence that the prevailing spate of religious intolerance in parts of the country will evaporate, but sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in restoring confidence of the people in the system.

“The incidents like Dadri and Udhampur, in which a young boy lost his life, were demoralizing and disturbing,” he said, expressing shock over the death of Zahid Bhat, a helper who succumbed on Sunday to injuries sustained when his truck was firebombed in Udhampur, and said the killers are needed to be served harsh punishment.

On response of the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir to various challenges confronting to the state, he said they have failed in providing good governance and in building an atmosphere wherein various segments of the society live in peace and harmony.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Facebook Dismisses Report of Journalists’ Frustration With Fact-Checking

The report quoted another factchecker as saying that he was demoralised

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook has dismissed a media report that claimed journalists working as factcheckers for the social media giant are frustrated and are ending partnerships as the company failed to use their expertise to combat misinformation.

A report in The Guardian on Thursday said outside reporters have lost trust in Facebook, “which has repeatedly refused to release meaningful data about the impacts of their work”.

Reacting to the report, Meredith Carden, Head of News Integrity Partnerships at Facebook, said the Guardian story presents several inaccuracies.

“Contrary to a claim in the story, we absolutely do not ask fact-checkers to prioritise debunking content about our advertisers,” Carden said in statement.

The report, she added, is based primarily on the account of a single fact-checker who has not been involved with the Facebook fact-checking program for six months.

“We have been committed to fighting misinformation for years now and have strong relationships with our third-party fact-checking partners — we now have 35 partners in 24 countries around the world,” said Facebook.

The report quoted Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor of Snopes, a factchecking site that has partnered with Facebook for two years, as saying that the social network is using journalists for handling crisis PR.

“They’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck… They clearly don’t care,” said Binkowski, who now runs her own fact-checking site which does not partner with Facebook.

According to Facebook, it values the ongoing partnerships and the work that these journalists do.

The third-party fact checking programme was launched in 2016 after the US Presidential election.

Facebook, data
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“We’re planning to expand the programme to even more countries in 2019,” said Carden.

According to Facebook, three separate researches have found that the overall volume of false news on Facebook is decreasing since it put up third-party fact-checking programme and other anti-misinformation measures in place.

However, The Guardian report said the company has ignored journalists’ concerns.

Some newsroom leaders said “they had grown increasingly resentful of Facebook, especially following revelations that the company had paid a consulting firm to go after opponents by publicising their association with billionaire Jewish philanthropist George Soros”.

A New York Times investigation in November suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors” including Soros.

Also Read- Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt Won Favourite Actors at Kids Choice Awards

Reacting to the report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg denied they had any prior knowledge about this firm.

“It was later revealed that Sheryl Sandberg had directed her staff to research Soros’s financial interests after he publicly criticised the company,” the Guardian report said.

The report quoted another factchecker as saying that he was demoralised.

“They are a terrible company and, on a personal level, I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” said the anonymous factchecker. (IANS)