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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 likely to launch camera-equipped hardware for TVs. 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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Facebook Set up a War Room to Fight Election Interference

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad

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Facebook now has a War Room to fight election interference. Pixabay

In line with its efforts to prevent misuse of its platform during elections, Facebook has set up a War Room to reduce the spread of potentially harmful content.

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election. The social networking giant has rolled out several initiatives to fight fake news and bring more transparency and accountability in its advertising since then.

The launch of the first War Room at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, is part of the social network’s new initiatives to fight election interference on its platform.

Although Facebook opened the doors of the War Room ahead of the general elections in Brazil and mid-term elections in the US, it revealed the details only this week.

The goal behind setting up the War Room was to get the right subject-matter experts from across the company in one place so they can address potential problems identified by its technology in real time and respond quickly.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“The War Room has over two dozen experts from across the company – including from our threat intelligence, data science, software engineering, research, community operations and legal teams,” Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement, said in a statement on Thursday.

“These employees represent and are supported by the more than 20,000 people working on safety and security across Facebook,” Chakrabarti added.

Facebook said its dashboards offer real-time monitoring on key elections issues, such as efforts to prevent people from voting, increases in spam, potential foreign interference, or reports of content that violates our policies.

The War Room team also monitors news coverage and election-related activity across other social networks and traditional media in order to identify what type of content may go viral.

These preparations helped a lot during the first round of Brazil’s presidential elections, Facebook claimed.

The social networking giant said its technology detected a false post claiming that Brazil’s Election Day had been moved from October 7 to October 8 due to national protests.

While untrue, that message began to go viral. But the team quickly detected the problem, determined that the post violated Facebook’s policies, and removed it in under an hour.

“And within two hours, we’d removed other versions of the same fake news post,” Chakrabarti said.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

The team in the War Room, Facebook said, also helped quickly remove hate speech posts that were designed to whip up violence against people from northeast Brazil after the first round of election results were called.

“The work we are doing in the War Room builds on almost two years of hard work and significant investments, in both people and technology, to improve security on Facebook, including during elections,” Chakrabarti said.

Earlier this month Facebook said that it was planning to set up a task force comprising “hundreds of people” ahead of the 2019 general elections in India.

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“With the 2019 elections coming, we are pulling together a group of specialists to work together with political parties,” Richard Allan, Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Solutions, told the media in New Delhi.

Facebook has also set a goal of bringing a transparency feature for political ads — now available in the US and Brazil — to India by March next year, Allan informed.

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad. (IANS)