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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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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay
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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.

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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.

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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)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)