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Twitter does amplify social exercise

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If you have ever rise up for a social issue, you must have bend to social media to treasure more support.

Now a University of Pennsylvania study has said that ‘slactivists’, or those, ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ your posts indeed play a great role in mobilising support.

They are the people who tint their Facebook profile pictures with the French flag to support Parisians, or pink to get behind Planned Parenthood. They sign online petitions, share activist videos, and re-tweet celebrities who take a political stand.

Some dismiss them as ‘slacktivists’, but the new study finds that these peripheral players actually play a critical role in extending the reach of social movements – even doubling them.

Led by Professor Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon from University of Pennsylvania and Pablo Barbera from New York University, the study analysed millions of tweets surrounding a few specific social protests: the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey, and the 2012 United for Global Change campaign.

Using location data embedded in the tweets, the researchers were able to differentiate between the people who were physically at a protest site versus those who were spreading the message from afar.

They also looked at the senders’ networks to construct a model of how information flowed and spread during the protest.

“The study helps advance our understanding of the role of Twitter in protests, something that has been hotly debated.

Some critics have been passionately against the idea that Twitter plays any substantial role in social movements,” Gonzalez-Bailon said.

During the Arab Spring protests, it became quite clear that Twitter in fact does play a significant role in modern protests, with some observers even seeing it as the key instrument for organising any modern protest.

“Of course social media doesn’t push you to risk your life and take to the streets, but it helps the actions of those who take the risk to gain international visibility,” Gonzalez-Bailon added.

wefornews bureau

Entertainment

COVID-19 brought the best and worst out of TikTok

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TikTok APP

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) The popular and highly controversial short video-sharing platform TikTok has once again hogged the limelight even as India battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have read reports about how streetchildren used TikTok to beat the stress ever since the country went into a lockdown, then you could hardly miss findings about how misinformation aimed at discouraging Muslims from taking preventive measures against COVID-19 circulated on the platform.

The videos created on TikTok often find their ways to other social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook, reaching a wider audience.

And then came the hate messages targeting the Muslim community.Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to spread hate mongering on social media, the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (Apex Confederation of Muslim Organisations) chief Navaid Hamid alleged that 30,000 “fake clips are in circulation on TikTok to spread disinformation that Muslims are spreading COVID-19 in the country” and that “these clips are creating tensions between communities across India”.

The government took note of the developments and even wrote a letter to some of these platforms, including TikTok, to take down videos that spread misinformation about the disease.

TikTok says it is doing its bit to fight the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus – from improving moderation efforts to removing thousands of videos that violated its rules.

“In the present context in particular, invalidated or misleading content poses an acute concern and is an area of focus for social media platforms. At TikTok, we have heightened our moderation efforts, and have been monitoring and systematically removing content from our platform that violates our Community Guidelines,” said a TikTok spokesperson.

“In India, we have removed thousands of videos that have contradicted legitimate advice about COVID-19 from credible authorities, as well as content that could cause imminent harm to public health and safety,” the spokesperson added.

In fact, such has been the popularity of TikTok that several law enforcement agencies — including Bengaluru City Police, Delhi Police, Uttarakhand Police, Kerala Police, Punjab Police and Maharashtra Police — have used the platform to raise awareness about how to fight COVID-19.

“Over the last few weeks, our platform has prioritised informative content and supported several government and law enforcement agencies, as well as non-profit organisations across India in disseminating information regarding responsible practices in an entertaining and responsible manner,” the TikTok spokesperson said.

Several global organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNDP are now using TikTok to share useful content and shed light on how to stay safe.

The short-video sharing platform owned by Beijing-based ByteDance last week said it donated 400,000 hazmat medical protective suits and 200,000 masks worth Rs 100 crore in order to help doctors and other medical professionals tackle the spread of COVID-19 in India.

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Health

SWR chips in with 7,295 masks, 1,200 litres of sanitiser

“At the stitching and furbishing section of the workshops, face masks are being made. These masks are being made using cotton cloth with bands for adjustments,”

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child in mask

Bengaluru, April 6 : The South Western Railway (SWR) zone has chipped in with 7,295 masks and 1,200 litres of hand sanitizer to meeting the shortage amid Covid pandemic, an official said on Monday.

“Due to the increase in demand for essential medical commodities, Railways has taken for in-house production of sanitiser and making masks in-house to deal with the crisis at hand during the lockdown,” said a SWR spokesperson.

SWR is preparing the hand sanitizer following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) formula, using surgical spirit, aloe vera gel, glycerol and scent.

“At the stitching and furbishing section of the workshops, face masks are being made. These masks are being made using cotton cloth with bands for adjustments,” said the statement.

The railway zone’s Hubballi Division produced 450 masks and 220 litres sanitizer, Hubballi Workshop, 1,225 masks and 400 litres, Bengaluru Division, 3,000 masks and 300 litres, the Mysuru Workshop, 2,100 masks and 280 litres sanitizer and Mysuru Division 520 masks.

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Health

Railways develops disinfectant tunnel to combat Covid-19

The disinfection tunnel will work uninterrupted for 16 hours, hence requiring refilling only once a day.

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Indian Railways

New Delhi, April 6 : The Indian Railways has developed a disinfection tunnel to sanitise people for just Rs 10,000, officials said on Monday.

A railway ministry official said that the loco shed in Maharashtra’s Bhusaval has developed a disinfection tunnel to fight Covid-19.

He said one set of three nozzles spray one ppm sodium hypochlorite solution, as people walk for a duration of between three and five seconds inside the tunnel.

The official said that upon contact in the tunnel, the spray is efficient enough to kill the virus.

He said the total cost of the tunnel was around Rs 10,000 and its capacity is of 500 litres.

The disinfection tunnel will work uninterrupted for 16 hours, hence requiring refilling only once a day.

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