Saturday January 25, 2020

Hotter Weather Linked to Higher Use of Depressive Language on Social Media

Temperature rise by 2050 could increase suicide rates by 1.4 per cent in the US and 2.3 per cent in Mexico

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Hotter weather increases both suicide rates and the use of depressive language on social media, says a new study that analysed half a billion tweets.

The research published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the effects of climate change could be as devastating as the influence of economic recessions when it comes to increasing suicide rates.

Projected temperature rise through 2050 could lead to an additional 21,000 suicides in the US and Mexico, the findings showed.

“Surprisingly, these effects differ very little based on how rich populations are or if they are used to warm weather,” said lead researcher Marshall Burke, Assistant Professor at Stanford University.

Researchers have recognised for centuries that suicides tend to peak during warmer months. But, many factors beyond temperature also vary seasonally – such as unemployment rates or the amount of daylight – and up to this point it has been difficult to disentangle the role of temperature from other risk factors.

To tease out the role of temperature from other factors, the researchers compared historical temperature and suicide data across thousands of US counties and Mexican municipalities over several decades.

The team also analysed the language in over half a billion Twitter updates or tweets to further determine whether hotter temperatures affect mental well-being.

Conference, Privacy, Social Media
FILE – Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to logos of social media apps Signal, Whatsapp and Telegram projected on a screen in this picture illustration. VOA

They analysed, for example, whether tweets contain language such as “lonely”, “trapped” or “suicidal” more often during hot spells.

The researchers found strong evidence linking warmer temperature with higher suicide rates.

To understand how future climate change might affect suicide rates, the team used projections from global climate models.

Also Read: Underwater Glaciers Melting Much Faster Than Predicted

Temperature rise by 2050 could increase suicide rates by 1.4 per cent in the US and 2.3 per cent in Mexico.

“Hotter temperatures are clearly not the only, nor the most important, risk factor for suicide,” Burke emphasised.

“But our findings suggest that warming can have a surprisingly large impact on suicide risk, and this matters for both our understanding of mental health as well as for what we should expect as temperatures continue to warm,” Burke added. (IANS)

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Twitter India Unveils Special Tricolor India Gate Emoji To Celebrate 71st Republic Day

This is the fifth year Twitter has supported Republic Day in India with a custom emoji

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Twitter
The social media platform Twitter also supports Independence Day, Diwali, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti among other key milestones and events, with innovative emojis that are designed keeping Indian culture and sentiment in mind, it said. Pixabay

 Twitter India on Friday launched a specially designed emoji of the India Gate lit up in the tricolour to celebrate India’s 71st Republic Day.

According to Twitter India, President Ram Nath Kovind will be tweeting with this emoji on January 25 during his address to the nation, as citizens across the country take to Twitter to participate in a public conversation.

“We believe that the 2020 Republic Day emoji will resonate with Indians across languages, cultures and time zones, giving them yet another reason, and way to celebrate and participate in public conversation,” Mahima Kaul, Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia, Twitter India, said in a statement.

The emoji will be live until January 30 and will be available in English as well as ten Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Urdu and Gurmukhi.

Twitter
Twitter India on Friday launched a specially designed emoji of the India Gate lit up in the tricolour to celebrate India’s 71st Republic Day. IANS

This is the fifth year Twitter has supported Republic Day in India with a custom emoji.

ALSO READ: Facebook Working to Re-elect Donald Trump, Says Billionaire Philanthropist Geroge Soros

The social media platform also supports Independence Day, Diwali, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti among other key milestones and events, with innovative emojis that are designed keeping Indian culture and sentiment in mind, it said. (IANS)