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Your Facebook Friends May Be Unintentionally Making You Feel Left Out on Social Platform

For the study, Covert and Stefanone created scenarios designed to mirror typical interactions on Facebook, and 194 individuals participated in an experiment ensuring exposure to social exclusion

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Facebook
Facebook testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. Pixabay

Facebook posts from your friends can make you feel left out in the virtual world and that feeling, as innocuous as it might seem, is not easily dismissed.

The interesting part is that your friends never mean to harm you with their messages but users tend to develop a feeling of “social exclusion” that may actually inhibit intelligent thought, according to a University at Buffalo study.

The short-term effects of these posts create negative emotions in the users who read them, and may affect thought processes in ways that make users more susceptible to advertising messages, the researchers added.

“These findings are compelling. We’re using these technologies daily and they’re pushing information to users about their networks, which is what the sites are designed to do, but in the end there’s negative effect on people’s well-being,” said Michael Stefanone, Associate Professor and an expert in computer-mediated communication and social networks.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

The results, appeared in the journal Social Science Computer Review, raise questions about how exposure to these interactions affect one’s day-to-day functioning.

Offline research suggests that social exclusion evokes various physical and psychological consequences such as reduced complex cognitive thought.

“Considering the amount of time individuals spend online, it is important to investigate the effects of online social exclusion,” said lead author Jessica Covert.

Social exclusion, even something that might seem trivial, is one of the most powerful sanctions people can use on others and it can have damaging psychological effects.

“When users see these exclusion signals from friends – who haven’t really excluded them, but interpret it that way – they start to feel badly,” Stefanone noted.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

For the study, Covert and Stefanone created scenarios designed to mirror typical interactions on Facebook, and 194 individuals participated in an experiment ensuring exposure to social exclusion.

The other group saw a feed that presented no social exclusion information.

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Results indicated that individuals exposed to social exclusion information involving their close friends experienced greater negative emotions than the control group.

“The most important thing we all have to remember is to think carefully about our relationship with these corporations and these social networking platforms. They do not have our best interests in mind,” Stefanone suggested. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Tracking Location Data of Users Who Threaten its Employees

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services.

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Facebook
Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties. Pixabay

Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties, the media reported.

According to a report in CNBC on Thursday, the tracking of users begins when the Facebook security team finds they are making “credible threats on its social network”.

The tracking is done by using location data taken from the user’s Facebook app or an IP address collected by the social network when a user is active on Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, facebook
Facebook CEO receives threatening comments from users.

The locations of users are only accessible after they were placed on a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) list after their threats are deemed credible. The list is updated nearly once a week.

“The company mines its social network for threatening comments, and in some cases uses its products to track the location of people it believes present a credible threat,” said the report.

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. “That means that if just 0.01 per cent of users make a threat, Facebook is still dealing with 270,000 potential security risks, the report added.

Users who publicly threaten the company — including posting threatening comments to company executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are added to the list.

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Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. Pixabay

“Our physical security team exists to keep employees safe,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

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“We have strict processes designed to protect people’s privacy and adhere to all data privacy laws and Facebook’s terms of service. Any suggestion our onsite physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Depending on the threat, Facebook’s security teams can take other actions, such as stationing security guards, escorting a BOLO user off campus or alerting law enforcement. (IANS)