Wednesday January 29, 2020

Hookah Smoking Posts on Social Media Promote The Habit, Here’s How

They found that 99.6 per cent indicated positive sentiments towards hookah use and only one post (0.4 per cent) mentioned its negative health effects

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Hookah Smoking Posts on Social Media Promote The Habit, Here's How
Hookah Smoking Posts on Social Media Promote The Habit, Here's How. Pixabay

Posts with hashtags, such as #hookah or #shisha, on social media platforms may portray its use in an overwhelmingly positive manner despite its serious health risks, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Health Education and Behavior, suggested that the portrayal and promotion of hookah smoking on social media can normalise its use and pose public health challenges.

A team of researchers from Florida International University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Miami, the Syrian Centre for Tobacco Studies, and the University of Pittsburgh selected 279 posts from 11,517 posts tagged hookah or shisha within a four-day period.

They found that 99.6 per cent indicated positive sentiments towards hookah use and only one post (0.4 per cent) mentioned its negative health effects.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that smoking hookah can lead to nicotine dependence and many other known smoking-related illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease,” the researchers said.

hookah
Representational image. Pixabay

“This study represents an important step in identifying hookah-related themes on Instagram and demonstrates the value in using data from this social platform to complement and extend our understanding of health behaviours,” they added.

The researchers also found that 10 per cent of all posts used the hashtag #HookahAddiction, signalling that nicotine addiction is not perceived as a health risk that would discourage potential users but instead is referred to ironically or as a “badge of honour”.

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The researchers commented that policymakers and others should explore approaches for reducing the number of promotional posts, for example, by creating campaigns to counter-market positive themes presented on social media.

“These findings can inform the design of future tobacco control media campaigns aimed at countering the normalization of hookah use on social media,” the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Instagram Experiences Highest Outrage While Twitter Reports Least in Q4

The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019

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Instagram
A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages. Pixabay

Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019, according to a new report on Tuesday.

The Twitter outage lasted only about a half an hour, leaving unable to tweet, retweet, like tweets or access their account at the peak of the outage, according to the findings by Downdetector, a company which tracks outages in technology platforms and social media sites. Facebook also experienced an outage on November 28 with 12,726 reports at the peak. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users across the globe.

“The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users in the US, Germany, Italy and Spain,” said the report titled “What Went Down? The Most Significant Online Service Outages in Q4 2019”.

“A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages at the peak of the outage,” it added. Facebook’s Messenger app experienced a smaller outage on November 18, 2019 with 8,952 users reporting outages at the peak.

Instagram
Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019. Pixabay

Snapchat, the popular multimedia messaging app was down for five and a half hours on October 14, 2019, leaving users unable to chat, send or receive photos from their friends. At the peak of the outage, 18,252 users from the US reported problems.

The outage was so significant as the hashtag #SnapchatDown was trending on Twitter at the time of the outage.In the mobile operators category, Vodafone was down for about four hours for thousands of users on October 23, 2019.

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At the peak of the outage, 21,065 users, primarily in Germany, reported having problems with their service, said the report. (IANS)