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Online Social Networking may Serve as a Resource for Managing Depression, says a Recent Study

The findings suggest that health professionals should ask patients about social support systems -- whether online or in real life

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London, November 29, 2016: While frequency and duration of online social networking may have a negative effect on mental health outcomes, a new study suggests that for some people, Facebook and Twitter may also serve as a resource for managing depression, thereby contributing to more positive outcomes.

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The study suggests that online social networking can have both a positive and a negative effect on a person’s well-being, and the frequency, quality, and purpose of the experience will all factor into the outcome.

The review article published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking highlighted that the relationship between online social networking and depression is quite complex and some people may enjoy a social support system in the virtual world as well.

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Multiple psychological, social, behavioural, and individual factors may all impact this complex relationship, according to the study by David Baker and Guillermo Perez Algorta from Lancaster University in Britain.

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The findings suggest that health professionals should ask patients about social support systems — whether online or in real life — as part of their routine clinical intake. (IANS)

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Twitter Gets Investigated By Ireland Over Data Collection

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages

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Twitter CEO
Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

 Twitter is reportedly facing an investigation by privacy regulators in Ireland over data collection in its link-shortening system, the media reported.

Privacy regulators in Ireland have launched an investigation into exactly how much data Twitter collects from t.co, its URL-shortening system, The Verge reported late on Saturday.

The investigation stems from a request made by UK professor Michael Veale under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a comprehensive European privacy law under which EU citizens have a right to request any data collected on them from a given company.

Facebook, Twitter
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, left, accompanied by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill. VOA

But when Veale made that request to Twitter, the company claimed it had no data from its link-shortening service. The professor was sceptical, and wrote to the relevant privacy regulator to see if Twitter was holding back some of his data.

Now, that investigation seems to be underway. The investigation, first reported by Fortune, is confirmed in a letter obtained by The Verge, sent to Veale by the office of the Irish Data Privacy Commissioner, the report said.

Initially designed as a way to save characters in the limited space of a tweet, link-shortening has also proved to be an effective tool at fighting malware and gathering rudimentary analytics.

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Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

Those analytics services can also present a significant privacy risk when used in private messages.

Also Read: Facebook Tackles Fake News, Deletes Almost 800 Accounts

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages, although no wrong-doing was conclusively established in either case. (IANS)