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Revealed: Why you spend spare time on Facebook

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New York: Can’t help skimming through your Facebook timeline even as you take a break from work? You may just be wired to do so as the brain prepares us to be socially connected to other people even when we get some rest, says a new research.

“The brain has a major system that seems predisposed to get us ready to be social in our spare moments,” said the study’s senior author Matthew Lieberman, professor at University of California, Los Angeles.

During quiet moments, the brain is preparing to focus on the minds of other people — or to “see the world through a social lens,” Lieberman said.

Tracking brain activity of study participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, the researchers found that a brain part called dorsomedial prefrontal cortex might turn on during dreams and rest in order to process our recent social experiences and update our understanding of the social world.

“It is part of a network in the brain that turns on when we dream and during periods of rest, in addition to when we explicitly think about other people,” Lieberman said.

“When I want to take a break from work, the brain network that comes on is the same network, we use when we are looking through our Facebook timeline and seeing what our friends are up to,” Lieberman said.

So although Facebook might not have been designed with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in mind, the social network is very much in sync with how our brains are wired.

“That is what our brain wants to do, especially when we take a break from work that requires other brain networks,” Lieberman said.

The study was published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. (IANS)

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Anonymous Ads on Facebook Influenced 10 Million British Voters

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election

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This photo shows the logo for Facebook on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. VOA

An anonymous political campaign on Facebook has reached nearly 10 million voters, asking them via advertisements to oppose British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the media reported on Saturday.

According to The Guardian, it was discovered by the digital campaign group 89up, which shared the details with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) panel into fake news.

“In adverts micro-targeted to individual constituencies, voters are exhorted to tell your local MP to bin Chequers,” said the report.

“This advertising is designed to specifically influence MPs,” 89up said.

All that is known about the campaign is what can be found on its website, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“Going by the name Mainstream Network, the group writes and publishes news stories on its website with an almost exclusively pro-Brexit slant, shared on its social media accounts,” the report added.

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Anonymous Facebook ads urged nearly 10 mn British voters to oppose Brexit. IANS

“Over the last couple of weeks, I received a flood of about 50 emails – some quite abusive – urging me to ‘chuck Chequers’ and vote for out-and-out Brexit,” Labour MP Paul Farrelly was quoted as saying

The news comes at a time when Facebook is reeling under a couple of massive data breaches including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that impacted 87 million users earlier this year.

Facebook says it has set a goal of bringing a transparency feature for political ads — now available in the US and Brazil — to the UK and India by March 2019.

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With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad.

Facebook has also set up a War Room to reduce the spread of potentially harmful content.

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election. (IANS)

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