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Twitter used by illegal online pharmacies to pedal drugs

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New York: Illegal online pharmacies are using Twitter to promote prescription drug abuse of controlled substances.

“This study is the first to establish an empirical link between Twitter content and illicit online pharmacies which promote the illegal sale of drugs that have significant abuse potential,” said study co-author Timothy Mackey from University of California-San Diego.

“Our results are concerning, as the study found over 45,000 tweets that promoted drug abuse even though we only looked at a two-week period of tweets,” Mackey added.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), young adults are the biggest abusers of prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHD stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs.

The study conducted surveillance and content analysis of over two million tweets using the Twitter public streaming application programming interface and used assisted machine learning.

Tweets were analysed to determine if they discussed drug abuse issues, whether they favourably promoted drug abuse behaviour, and were also examined to see if they directly enabled the illegal access to controlled substances by online pharmacies.

Mackey said the study findings are extremely troubling.

“When we examined links included in a subset of the tweets that discussed drug abuse, we discovered that 76 percent of these tweets included a link to an online marketing affiliate advertising the sale of the controlled substance valium, a tranquillizer that is commonly abused,” he said.

Buying prescription drugs from illegal online pharmacies also endanger consumers financial information, putting them at risk of identity theft, according to experts.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). (IANS) (image courtesy:wsjgadjets.ndtv.com)

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Shraddha Kapoor Approaches for Animal Safety this Diwali

Shraddha Kapoor takes a stand on animal safety this Diwali. She posted on her Twitter handle to be kind to street animals and make this Diwali a noise free and eco-friendly one.

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Shraddha Kapoor takes a stand for animals this Diwali. IANS

Mumbai, Oct 18: Actress Shraddha Kapoor has taken a stand favoring the animals in the festive season of Diwali.

Shraddha has a pet dog Shylo, and the actress has always expressed her concern for animals on various occasions.

With Diwali inching closer, Shraddha took to Twitter to appeal to her fans to not burst firecrackers, for the sake of animals.

She shared a video saying: “Diwali is coming – the festival of lights… not of noise and air pollution. Help keep the air clean and be sensitive to the animals on the streets.”

The actress added: “This is that time of the year when Diwali is just around the corner and I just wanted to say that please don’t buy firecrackers and don’t burst firecrackers.

ALSO READHow To Ensure Your Pet Safe in Diwali?

“Not only does it cause a lot of pollution but it also troubles all the animals on the streets.”

Shraddha further urged her fans to have a safe Diwali by spending time with family as she wished her fans.

“Instead, spend Diwali with your family, with your loved ones eat amazing food, eat sweets and don’t burst crackers. Happy Diwali.”

On the work front, the actress is currently working on the trilingual “Saaho” with Prabhas. Shraddha has recently returned to Mumbai after wrapping the first schedule of the film in Hyderabad. (IANS)

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No Diwali, Birthday Celebrations for Amitabh Bachchan This Year

The Bollywood took to Twitter to reveal his plans to his followers

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Amitabh Bachchan. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 8, 2017 : Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says this year he will not be celebrating the festival of lights Diwali or his 75th birthday, which falls on October 11.

Though Big B didn’t give the reason, his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s father Krishnaraj Rai passed away in March after several days of illness.

“India thrash Australia in T20, Pink Panthers’ extraordinary convincing win, thunderstorm cancels shoot, 30 million on Twitter, and just for your information… no Diwali celebration this year,” Amitabh tweeted on Saturday night.

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Twitter to Double its Character Limit to 280 Characters ; Here is What Twitterati has to say!

Cannot fit your tweet into 140 characters? Worry not; Twitter may soon allow you to tweet using 280 characters!

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Twitter is now giving its users more characters to express themselves. Wikimedia

California, September 27, 2017: We all can understand the aggravation of being unable to convey our thoughts on Twitter, courtesy its 140 character-constraint. However, in an astonishing move, Twitter has decided to increase the character limit on tweets to enable its users to convey more information and meaning.

The micro-blogging site that previously allowed users to tweet using 140 characters will now allow them to convey meaning in a whopping 280 characters- double the previous limit.

“This is a small change, but a big move for us”, believes the chief executive of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.

The decision came following a research previously carried out by Twitter that revealed that double the amount of information per character could be in conveyed in a variety of languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean than what users could in English, Spanish or French among others. This was a growing cause of frustration among Twitter users from the latter language clusters.

The research thus led to the decision to roll out this new attribute.

However, not every Twitter user will be able to avail this service just yet. Twitter is currently testing the new attribute only with a small division of its 328 million clients before choosing whether to dispatch the feature for everybody.

As soon as the social media giant made their formal announcement about the 280 character expansion on September 26, internet reactions were swift and mostly negative, questioning the irrelevant character change.

This is how Twitterati reacted to the latest change,

ALSO READ Twitter Bots can Help Trigger and Promote Good Behavior, says a New Research

While users have been increasingly questioning the new move and calling it ‘unnecessary’, the official announcement from Twitter accepted that the new 280-character move is only aimed at creating a more inclusive and equal platform for users of different languages. The announcement also reiterated that Twitter is synonymous with brevity and “that is something we will never change.”

Over the past years, users have been witnessing multiple changes in Twitter’s 140-character constraint.  In a previous move earlier this year, the micro-blogging site had removed @ replies from its limits and exempted photos, videos and quotes. This new move is now being hailed as another exemption of the character restrictions.