Thursday January 24, 2019
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Facebook Asks Political Ad Buyers In UK To Reveal Their Identity

While the vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations, we know that there are bad actors that try to misuse our platform,” Facebook said in a statement.

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Facebook, data
A protester wearing a mask with the face of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is flanked by two fellow activists wearing angry face emoji masks, during a protest against Facebook policies, in London, Britain (From archives) VOA

Facebook says that anyone who takes out a British political ad on the social media platform will now be forced to reveal their identity, in a bid to increase transparency and curb misinformation.

The company said Tuesday that it will also require disclaimers for any British political advertisements. All the data on the ad buyers will be archived for seven years in a publicly accessible database.

Facebook, India, Fake News
CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at a Facebook developers conference in San Jose, California. VOA

Facebook is already applying a similar system in the United States, which is holding midterm elections this year.

British lawmakers have called for greater oversight of social media companies and election campaigns to protect democracy in the digital age.

A House of Commons report this year said democracy is facing a crisis because data analysis and social media allow campaigns to target voters with messages of hate without their consent.

Facebook, India, Fake News
This photo shows the app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“While the vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations, we know that there are bad actors that try to misuse our platform,” Facebook said in a statement. “By having people verify who they are, we believe it will help prevent abuse.”

Also Read: Google Pixel Cameras Coming With External Microphones Support

Facebook said it’s up against “smart and well-funded adversaries who change their tactics as we spot abuse,” but it believes that increased transparency is good for democracy and the electoral process. (VOA)

Next Story

Negative Experiences on Social Media Platform Can Make You Feel Lonely

Because social media is so pervasive, it is critically important that we better understand why this is happening and how we can help people navigate social media without as many negative consequences, wrote researchers

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Negative experiences on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter increase the odds of feeling lonely especially among young adults, a new study has found.

Positive interactions on social media are not making young adults feel more connected, whereas negative experiences increase the likelihood of them reporting loneliness, said scientists from the University of Pittsburgh’s Centre for Research on Media Technology and Health (MTH).

“Social media is, seemingly, about connecting people. So it is surprising and interesting that our investigations reveal social media being linked to loneliness,” said lead author Brian Primack, Director of Pitt’s MTH.

Perceived social isolation, which is a synonym for loneliness, is associated with poor health outcomes, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, he added in a paper published in the journal American Journal of Health Promotion.

Primack and his team surveyed 1,178 students aged 18 to 30 about their social media use, to what extent their experiences were positive or negative, and their level of perceived loneliness.

Loneliness Can Worsen Mental Health And Can Double The Risk Of Dying
Negative experiences on Facebook will make you lonely. Pixabay

For every 10 per cent increase in negative experiences on social media, the participants reported a 13 per cent increase in feelings of loneliness.

However, for every 10 per cent increase in positive experiences on social media, the participants reported no statistically significant change in feelings of loneliness.

“There is a tendency for people to give greater weight to negative experiences and traits compared with positive ones, and this may be particularly relevant when it comes to social media,” said study author Jaime Sidani.

Also Read- Uber Redesignes its Uber Fleet App in India

“Health practitioners may encourage the public to be more cognizant and thoughtful regarding their online experiences, thereby interrupting a potential cycle of negative experiences and loneliness,” added Primack.

Because social media is so pervasive, it is critically important that we better understand why this is happening and how we can help people navigate social media without as many negative consequences, wrote researchers. (IANS)