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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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Social media sites. Pixabay

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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Porn Bots Flood Twitter’s Trending Topics to Lure Users

According to Twitter’s “Sensitive Media Policy”, you may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within a live video or in profile or header images. Media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also not permitted

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Not just Facebook-owned Instagram, porn bots have now flooded Twitter and unlike Instagram, these spam accounts include photos of women in bikinis along with words relevant to trending topics on the micro-blogging platform to lure users.

According to a report in Engadget, these spams show up under the “Top” tab of Twitter’s trending section and are “even more brazen in their attempts to lure in gullible readers”.

Once clicked on these accounts, the users are taken to porn sites, asking for personal information, including email address, age, location and credit card number.

Since these spams are seen under the “Top” tab of the trending section, people see them first when visiting any key trending topic.

“All the accounts were created in August and they used the ‘Pinned Tweet’ feature of the app to try to promote a website,” said the report on Wednesday.

For example, a bot with the handle @calvi_anna said: “My WhatsApp is on the site in the profile information about me, call me. Watch my private videos for free after a simple registration”.

Once you click, you are redirected to porn sites.

Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“Some of these are the same sites you’ll come across when you fall for a scheme from the bots leaving comments on Instagram, except on Twitter they’re using trending topics to run their operation, the report added.

In a statement, Twitter said it is working hard to ensure this type of spam does not appear in search results or conversations.

“Sometimes, it can miss these dubious accounts and when that happens, people do have the option to report them,” Twitter told Engadget.

The appearance of such porn bots on Twitter’s trending topics comes at a time when the feature is already under scrutiny.

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The feature has been “blamed for gaslighting conspiracy theories about Jeffrey Epstein, the American millionaire and convicted sex offender who recently committed suicide in a New York City jail”.

According to Twitter’s “Sensitive Media Policy”, you may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within a live video or in profile or header images. Media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also not permitted.

“Adult content is any consensually produced and distributed media that is pornographic or intended to cause sexual arousal,” reads the policy, adding that “If you share this content within Tweets, you need to mark your account as sensitive”. (IANS)