Many times one wonders whether the forwarded images and videos received through social media sites and Whatsapp are true or fake. With fake videos going viral these days and morphed photos of politicians and other personalities, it is better to know about tools which may help confirm the authenticity of such content. Trained by Google, Nimish Kapoor spoke about some easy user-friendly tools which he shared with The Pioneer during his recent visit to Haridwar.
Kapoor has over 18 years of experience in science communication, science films and television medium and is currently engaged as Scientist ‘E’ in Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, who also heads the Science Film Festival division. He is a Google certified trainer for fact checking and data verification. He is also associated as member of decision-making bodies of Doordarshan, NCERT-CIET, MHRD-Central Hindi Directorate and others.
What are the free tools available on Google through which a common man can verify the image or video which one receives through social media?
Google offers Reverse Image Search, TinEye.com, time tools, translate extension and for video, InVID, Frame by Frame, Exif data viewer, SunCalc and others. By knowing the time and geographical conditions in which the video was shot, length of sun shadow and tracing the original image with these tools, one easily comes to know whether the image or video received is manipulated or original.
Regarding rising cyber crime how can one secure personal data?
For passwords, it is better to use initial alphabets from long sentences, for instance using the sentence ‘I have a pet dog for 5 years’, the password can be ‘ihapdf5y’. This is not so easily hacked. One must avoid using date of birth as passwords as they are easily hacked by hackers.
How to identify misinformation / disinformation?
For online verification and fact checking the agencies which are authorised are First Draft, Storyful, Boom Wire and DataLEADS among others. The best way to check the authenticity of an image is by using Google Reverse image research option.
As you head the National Science Film Festival division, what would you say about the ninth National Science Film festival to be held later this month?
Earlier science films were limited to laboratories only but now to develop scientific aptitude among people, this initiative has been taken by Government of India. National Science Film Festival of India aims to foster, strengthen and create scientific temper through popular science films. One may send films on the specific aspects of science, technology, environment, health and related issues. We create a platform to interact with film makers, scientists and enthusiasts to create a better understanding of the universe; encourage citizen science and public participation and promote appreciation of science films. National Science Film Festival of India 2019 will be held from January 27 to 31 at Chandigarh University, Mohali.
Which movies were selected for this years’ fest?
We got 270 films out of which in Government category 15 +21 films, 23 college level and 18 school level films will be sent for National Jury screening. One may check all information at vigyanprasar.gov.in. Announcements for entries are made from July –August every year. More than 300 professional film makers, student filmmakers and science communicators are expected to participate in the 9th NSFFI at Mohali. Veteran film makers Shyam Benegal, Amol Palekar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Muzaffar Ali, Madhur Bhandarkar, Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Mike Pandey and Suhasini Mule have been associated with NSFFI as jury chair and mentors.
Any dream project which the scientists of the ministry are working on?
As Shyam Benegal had suggested in the 2016 festival in Mumbai that there should be 24 hours science TV channel, we at Vigyan Prasar are hoping to launch such a channel within two years along with Prasar Bharti. The article 51 A (h) of Constitution of India talks of developing the scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform and this is our agenda. Film is the best medium to act scientifically. Workshop series with cinema in classroom in central schools (Kendriya Vidyalayas) has been introduced. Promoting regional language movies with subtitles in Hindi and English is also on the cards.
Can an original mobile video shot with some fact based information be sent on the website run by Ministry of Science and Technology?
Yes. During festival a two-minute on the spot mobile video making contest is also held. Awards worth lakhs of rupees are given to winners under different categories. Also on India Science Wire, researchers can send their articles both in Hindi and English. Dream 2047 magazine by Department of Science and technology allows one to share one’s technical writings, research findings and any informative videos by people. One may write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 03 January 2019 | Radhika Nagrath | Haridwar—
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