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Glossary

Adivasi

Adivasi is Sanskrit for first settlers or original inhabitant. It is the self-designation of indigenous populations and tribal communities in both India and beyond it. The central Indian government does not recognise the term Adivasi, since it would imply that these tribal communities have lived on Indian ground longer than the Hindu caste. Alongside the untouchables – the Dalits – the Adivasis are some of the poorest people in India, especially in urban areas. Although they have certain minority rights, they are commonly discriminated against as outcasts.

Dalit

The Dalits are the untouchables of the Indian caste system because they are outside of it and as such, casteless. Muslims, Buddhists and Christians are counted among the untouchables which when taken count 240 million people – almost a fifth of the Indian population. Dalits are at the bottom level of the caste system and are considered impure and untouchable, which can go as far as people of higher castes avoiding coming into contact with their shadows. They are often the victims of discrimination, violence and land-grabbing, particularly in rural areas.

Debunking

Debunking is a tool used to combat the spread of false or misleading information and refers to the process of disproving mis- and disinformation. When information has been debunked it is published and shared by fact-checking organisations, journalists or institutions.

Deep Fakes

Deep fakes is a combination of the terms deep learning and fake, and refers to video or audio recording that use machine learning to manipulate and alter recordings. Digitally created faces, facial expression and voice recordings can be superimposed on existing recordings and present information in a very different light. They are extremely realistic and not easily spotted.

Doxing

Doxing refers to the process of gathering and publishing personal data such as addresses, certificates, email and letters online with the intent of causing harm. Often, the subjects of a doxing campaign are subjected to further threats or violence – including phone harassment or physical attacks in their homes.

Fabricated news

Fabricated news are news items that are completely fictitious

Fact-checking

Fact-checking is journalistic method for checking statement using verifiable facts. Social media platforms work with fact-checking organisations worldwide to ensure content is accurate. Fact-checking was used during the TV debates of the 2016 US presidential election. German fact-checking organisations include, correctiv, mimikama and Faktenfinder.

Fingerprints

Fingerprints refers to an online method for identifying videos, either to prevent their upload or to block them once online. In contrast to watermarks, the fingerprint process identifies components of a video and uses them to create a unique fingerprint. If a video is edited, the fingerprint changes as a result. Platforms exchange fingerprints via a shared database for the quick identification of illegal content.

Hate speech

Hate speech is a term not defined by German law that is primarily used in connection with derogatory online comments, including insults, threats or sedition. In Germany the controversial Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) was signed into law in 2017 with the aim of combatting illegal content, which can include hate speech.

Memes

The term meme was coined by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to describe the spread of ideas and behaviours via imitation. These days it usually refers to small images or videos with humorous, uplifting or satirical content. Memes are often sent via social media networks, including messenger services. While, they often use photographs, film clips, animations or drawings taken out of context, memes can also be created using original content. There are numerous dark memes – often considered funny by both sender and recipient – with content that‘s clearly racist, sexist or anti-Semitic. Memes are part of ‚network culture‘.

Troll

Trolls are internet users who deliberately try to derail discussions and elicit strong emotional responses from their victims. A person can troll on their own, but trolling is often a coordinated effort organised through, amongst others, messenger services. Trolling campaigns have been orchestrated by states, with the individuals sometimes being paid for their actions.