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WhatsApp’s “Checkpoint Tipline” service that was launched with much fanfare on April 2 to help users in India report fake news is not a helpline number but a data-gathering research project to help the Facebook-owned platform understand how misinformation spreads.
According to Proto, a media skill start-up WhatsApp has partnered with for its “Checkpoint Tipline” initiative, the service is “not a helpline” but a research project.
“The ‘Checkpoint Tipline’ is primarily used to gather data for research, and is not a helpline that will be able to provide a response to every user,” Proto posted in an FAQ on its website.
A WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed to Buzzfeed News that the announcement hadn’t meant to imply that every request would receive a response.
People in India can submit misinformation or rumours to the “Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp” at +91-9643-000-888.
Unfortunately, it is too late for WhatsApp to spot and take action on fake news for the elections via this project as the first phase of voting begins on April 11.
In a statement, WhatsApp said that it had clarified in the very beginning that the tipline was meant to help create a database of rumours to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint.
When the tipline was first announced on April 2, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp said its users in India would be able to share messages with the tipline, in order to help Proto verify their authenticity.
“This combined effort by WhatsApp and industry organisations will help contribute to the safety of the elections, by giving people means to know if the information is verified and deter people from sharing rumours that have no basis in fact,” said the company.
Proto clarified that “over the next four months, we expect to aggregate these signals at scale, to better understand how misinformation during large events of public interest in India such as the elections spreads across languages, regions, even issues”.
It means the project is of no use when it comes to spot and remove misinformation in the upcoming general elections.
The response time will vary based on the complexity of the submissions. However, verifications will not be instant.
“If the new rumour is both within scope and verifiable, the verification centre will prioritize requests based on their urgency.
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“Finally, if the new rumour is both within scope, verifiable and prioritized, the verification centre may take up to 24 hours to send back a report,” said Proto in its FAQ.
In a nutshell, the WhatsApp project is to gain insights into how fake news spread and is not going to help the Indian government curb misinformation in the April 11-May 23 election period. (IANS)
During the festive season, kitchens are filled with people trying to find a space for them to work, while they contribute to the eventual feast. In India, festivals are one of the most important things that bind families and friends together over food. Diwali is of those festivals that apart from being known for the colors and lights, is known and remembered by the elaborate dishes that each family doles out.
In Karnataka, parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and South India in general, making obbattu/ holige/ puran poli is a festive ritual. Known as Holige, more popularly in Kannada, this dish is eaten as a dessert because of its sweetness but can be eaten as a meal in itself because of its nutritious value.
Holige is traditionally a flatbread filled with jaggery, coconut, chickpeas, or channa dal. Sometimes, it has vegetables and fruits. It is popularly made to celebrate Ugadi, the Kannada new year but is also eaten during Diwali. Making Holige involves multiple steps and be incredibly fun to do when done together as a family.
The ingredients laid out to begin cooking holige Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Making Holige is very similar to making parathas. A sweet filling consists of smashed dal or chickpeas seasoned with spices like cardamom, which is rolled out. a maida-based dough which will make the outer covering is rolled into a thin circle. After cooking the dal with jaggery, it is placed in the centre of the dough and cooked until it resembles a paratha. The marbling on the dough with a characteristic yellow background is the typical Holige. Ghee is smeared at every stage and at every turn of the Holige on the pan to ensure that it holds its shape.
Holige is made only one at a time and eaten immediately off the stove as it tends to exude a lot of moisture. This comes from the melted jaggery and ghee. Holige makes for an extremely delicious dessert and is perhaps one of the most awaited festive specialties. Depending on the state it is made in, it is served with varying accompaniments.
Keywords: Holige, Diwali festival, Dessert, Obbattu, Karnataka, the festive season, Kannada new year
Kerala Kalamandalam that teaches the globally recognized art form of Kerala -- Kathakali, has for the first time in its history of 90 years, admitted girl students.
In class VII of Kalamadalam, out of 10 students admitted, 9 are girl students for its Kathakali course. Kathakali is a highly masculine art form with even the female characters being portrayed by men. The attempt is being welcomed across the world.
However several women had started practicing Kathakali in 1970 and 1990 and K.K. Gopalakrishnan, renowned art critic of Kerala in his research book, 'Kathakali Dance - Theatre', said that some women from foreign countries had trained for some short-term courses in Kerala on Kathakali.
Most of these performing women artists were either trained privately by Kathakali masters but this is the first time that Kalamandalam is taking in girl students for its long-term programme.
T.K. Narayanan, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam told media persons that giving admission to girl students in Kalamadalam was a demand for several quarters since long and that this academic year the governing body has decided to give admission to girl students in a full-time programme at Kalamandalam.
Training at Kalamandalam from school days would expose the students to the teaching and guidance of experts and a diverse pool of teachers of the institute who have huge exposure and deep knowledge of the subject. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Kerala culture, Kathakali, Dance Culture, kathakali Tradition, Kerala Kalamandalam
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the Delhi government would arrange free-of-cost travel for senior citizens from Delhi to Ayodhya.
"I want every Indian should be fortunate enough to have a 'darshan' (visit) of Ram Lalla. I am a small man but Lord Ram has given me enough and I will use my position to help people to come for darshan here," Kejriwal added after offering prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media, he said, "I pray to Lord Ram to help India move ahead in the world and bring prosperity for 130 crore people."
Kejriwal, who visited the Hanuman Garhi temple, said he was fortunate enough to be in Ayodhya and seek blessings from Lord Ram for the welfare of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and the rest of the country.
The Delhi Chief Minister had arrived at the temple town on Monday and attended the 'Sarayu aarti' where he interacted with saints and seers. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Ayodhya, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Ram Mandir for senior citizens, Ram Janmabhoomi temple.