Friday January 18, 2019

Facebook Can Help Older People Feel Less Lonely

The researchers also suggested that commenting on and responding to them gave older users a feeling of social interaction.

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For the study, the researchers recruited more than 200 participants who were 60 years and older and used Facebook for at least a year.
Old Man, (Pixabay)

If your grandparents are struggling with isolation, showing them how to use Facebook may help as researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that social networking sites offer tools and activities that may help older adults feel more empowered and less lonely.

Facebook and similar social networking sites could play a critical role in easing isolation and making them feel like they are part of a large community, said the study published in the journal New Media and Society.

“This is important, especially for older adults who might be aging in place, because they have mobility constraints that limit their ability to socialize,” said study co-author S. Shyam Sundar, Professor at the Pennsylvania State University in the US.

The researchers "friended" the participants on Facebook so they could count the number of times they used the various tools in the site during the past year.
Facebook logo, Pixabay

For the study, the researchers recruited more than 200 participants who were 60 years and older and used Facebook for at least a year.

The researchers “friended” the participants on Facebook so they could count the number of times they used the various tools in the site during the past year.

The participants were also asked to respond to a questionnaire that captured the gratifications they obtained from Facebook.

Older adults who posted a lot of personal stories on Facebook felt a higher sense of community, and the more they customised their profiles, the more in control they felt, Sundar said.

The researchers also suggested that commenting on and responding to them gave older users a feeling of social interaction.

Sundar added that using social media is not a uniform experience that is either all bad, or all good, but offers multiple functions for diverse users.

Older adults are increasingly adopting social media, in general, and are a growing number of Facebook’s total membership, said Eun Hwa Jung from National University of Singapore who worked with Sundar.

Also Read: Google Now Lets You Register Sites Ending In .app

Facebook is considered the most popular social network among older adults, the researchers added.

The researcher also emphasised that developers of social media networks should consider the needs of this growing group of users.

For example, they should create features that enhance the identity of older adults while simultaneously protecting their privacy. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Kills 300 Fake Pages and Accounts Linked To Russia

The individuals handling these accounts primarily represented themselves as Ukrainian and they operated a variety of fake accounts while sharing local Ukrainian news stories

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Facebook, social media
Facebook kills over 300 Russia-linked fake accounts, Pages, (VOA)

Social networking giant Facebook on Thursday killed over 300 fake Pages and accounts linked to Russia that it said was “engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour”, almost two years after the US presidential election.

The social media giant removed 364 Pages and accounts as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries.

“The two operations we found originated in Russia, and one was active in a variety of countries while the other was specific to Ukraine.

“Despite their misrepresentations of their identities, we found that these Pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a news agency based in Moscow, and that some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy, Facebook, wrote in a blog post.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

About $135,000 were spent in ads, and paid for in euros, roubles and dollars, over a time span from October 2013 to now.

Around 790,000 accounts followed one or more of these Pages (now taken down) on the social media platform.

“We’re taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they post. In these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves,” Gleicher added.

The pages hosted about 190 events, with the most recent scheduled for January 2019, and about 1,200 people expressing interest in them.

We cannot confirm whether any of these events actually occurred, the company added.

Facebook, data
Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

Separately, the social networking giant removed another 107 pages, groups and accounts as well as 41 Instagram accounts that were designed to look like they were operating from Ukraine, but were in fact part of a network that originated in Russia.

Also Read: Facebook Violated Cyber Security Law: Vietnam

The individuals handling these accounts primarily represented themselves as Ukrainian and they operated a variety of fake accounts while sharing local Ukrainian news stories on topics ranging from weather, protests, NATO to health conditions at schools.

“We identified some technical overlap with Russia-based activity we saw prior to the US midterm elections, including behaviour that shared characteristics with previous Internet Research Agency (IRA) activity,” the company said. (IANS)