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Election Integrity Forces Twitter to Delay Account Verification Process

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also acknowledged that the system "needs a complete reboot"

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Twitter
Twitter confirms third-party involvement in crypto hackings. Pixabay

Looming elections in Pakistan, the US, Brazil and India have forced Twitter to shelve its public account verification programme as the micro-blogging platform is busy tackling the spread of fake news and misinformation, the company said on Wednesday.

Twitter “does not presently have the bandwidth” to overhaul its verification system and provide a blue checkmark to true accounts, said Kayvon Beykpour, Product Head, in a series of tweets.

“We’ve heard some questions recently about the status of verification on Twitter, so wanted to address directly. Updating our verification programme isn’t a top priority for us right now (election integrity is),” Beykpour said.

“I don’t believe we have the bandwidth to address this holistically without coming at the cost of other priorities and distracting the team,” Beykpour added.

Pakistan goes to the polls on July 25, Brazil in October, the US mid-term in November and India early next year.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter in November paused public verification because it wanted to address the issue that verifying the authenticity of an account was being conflated with endorsement.

“Our intention was to hit the brakes until we had a fix across policy/enforcement/product.

“Though we’ve made a lot of progress towards a holistic solution, the truth is that this work is still incomplete and we’re choosing not to prioritise it just now,” Beykpour noted.

Also Read: Twitter Suspends 2 Accounts Linked to Russian Intelligence After Hacking Indictment

Twitter is currently focused on information quality ahead of the elections.

“This focus will help us move faster on what we think is most important. After we make more progress, we plan to address Verification,” the Twitter product head said.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also acknowledged that the system “needs a complete reboot”. (IANS)

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Are you an Avid Twitter User? Your Posts can Reveal How Lonely you are

If we are able to identify lonely individuals and intervene before the health conditions associated with the themes we found begin to unfold, we have a change

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Twitter, User, Posts
Loneliness can be a slow killer, as some of the medical problems associated with it can take decades to manifest. Pixabay

Researchers have found that users who tweet on loneliness are much more likely to write about mental well-being issues and things like struggles with relationships, substance use and insomnia on Twitter.

By applying linguistic analytic models to tweets, researchers were able to gain an insight into the topics and themes that could be associated with loneliness.

“Loneliness can be a slow killer, as some of the medical problems associated with it can take decades to manifest,” said the study’s lead author Sharath Chandra Guntuku, from University of Pennsylvania in the US.

“If we are able to identify lonely individuals and intervene before the health conditions associated with the themes we found begin to unfold, we have a change to help those much earlier in their lives. This could be very powerful and have long-lasting effects on public health,” Guntuku said.

Twitter, User, Posts
By applying linguistic analytic models to tweets, researchers were able to gain an insight into the topics and themes that could be associated with loneliness. Pixabay

By determining typical themes and linguistic markers posted to social media that are associated with people who are lonely, the team has uncovered some of the ingredients necessary to construct a ‘loneliness’ prediction system.

As part of the study, published in the journal BMJ, researchers analysed public accounts from users based in Pennsylvania and found that 6,202 accounts used words such as ‘lonely’ or ‘alone’ more than five times between 2012 and 2016.

Comparing the entire Twitter timelines of these users to a matched group who did not have such language included their posts, the researchers showed that ‘lonely’ users tweeted nearly twice as much and were much more likely to do so at night.

When the tweets were analysed via several different linguistic analytic models, the users who posted about loneliness had an extremely high association with anger, depression and anxiety, when compared to the ‘non-lonely’ group.

Also Read- Cabinet Approves MoU between India and Switzerland on Technical Cooperations in Field of Climate Change

Additionally, the lonely groups were significantly associated with tweeting about struggles with relationships (for example, using phrases like ‘want somebody’ or ‘no one to’) and substance use (‘smoke,’ ‘weed,’ and ‘drunk’)

“On Twitter, we found lonely users expressing a need for social support, and it appears that the use of expletives and the expression of anger is a sign of that being unfulfilled,” Guntuku said.

Users in the group that didn’t post about loneliness seemed to display some social connections, as they were found to be more likely to engage in conversations, especially by including others’ user names (using ‘@twitter_handle’) in their tweets.

In the future, the researchers hope to develop a better measure of the different dimensions of loneliness that online users are feeling and expressing. (IANS)