Monday March 18, 2019
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Supporting JNU students, Indian-American students protest in US

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Image for representation only. Image source: huffingtonpost.in

New York: Expressing their solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who were arrested in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy, students from two US Universities expressed their concern. They gathered at Washington Square Park showing their support.

Students, including Indian-Americans, from New York University (NYU) and the Cooper Union college in New York, gathered at Washington Square Park to support JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and other students who were arrested on sedition charges last month, the Washington Square News newspaper reported on Monday.

An Indian-American student said during the protest that the primary purpose of the event was to raise awareness about Kumar’s arrest.

“[Kumar] was arrested for making these comments against the government, even though he was not actually saying anything against the government, he was just having this poetry reading,” Anjana Sreedhar said.

“We are protesting against the fact that he was arrested under the sedition law which is very antiquated and very outdated,” Sreedhar added.

Sreedhar, along with several other students read English transcripts of Kumar’s speech during the poetry reading and asked if his words warranted arrest. They also encouraged passersby and attendees to attend a forum discussion at the Cooper Union next week.

A student activist at the NYU Sumathy Kumar said she attended the rally because she wants to show her support to the JNU students who were “beaten and arrested and so much violence was being committed against them just for speaking out”.

“I am an activist, and I think we take it for granted sometimes that we have the right to dissent and that home where my parents are from and where I call my ancestors are from, they are not allowed to dissent,” Kumar said.

Anthropology professor Tejaswini Ganti said that she was glad students were voicing support for JNU’s students and that universities should be an open forum for all opinions – even those that dissent against the governing party.(IANS)

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Being Active On Facebook Can Raise Your Political Awareness

Social media can inform audiences, even the little article previews that appear in Facebook's News Feed.

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"This overconfidence might translate to increased political participation, but concern remains over whether social media provides enough information for voters to make fully informed choices," he added. Pixabay

People who read Facebook’s News Feed that showcases previews of various news articles tend to overestimate their political knowledge and form a strong opinion, says a study.

With approximately half of Internet users using Facebook to access news, the study has important implications for how people learn about politics.

The study, published in the Research and Politics journal, argued that although reading the short article previews provides one with political information, individuals especially those who are motivated to seek emotions think they know more than they actually do.

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With approximately half of Internet users using Facebook to access news, the study has important implications for how people learn about politics. Pixabay

They tend to form strong opinions and are significantly more likely to overestimate their knowledge.

“Social media can inform audiences, even the little article previews that appear in Facebook’s News Feed. However, with this learning comes a false confidence; some individuals (particularly those motivated by their gut reactions) think they learn more on the issue than they actually do,” Nicolas M. Anspach from the York College of Pennsylvania in the US told PsyPost.com

“This overconfidence might translate to increased political participation, but concern remains over whether social media provides enough information for voters to make fully informed choices,” he added.

In the study, a group of 320 participants read an article from The Washington Post about the safety of genetically modified foods.

Another group of 319 participants read a mock Facebook News Feed containing four article previews, where one preview was about genetically modified foods, while a third group of 351 participants, used as a control, did not read anything.

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When tested about their knowledge of the subject, the participants who read the full article answered the most questions correctly, while those who read the News Feed correctly answered only one question more often than the control group on average. Pixabay

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When tested about their knowledge of the subject, the participants who read the full article answered the most questions correctly, while those who read the News Feed correctly answered only one question more often than the control group on average.

But participants who read the News Feed were more likely to overestimate their knowledge, especially among those motivated to experience strong emotions. (IANS)