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Social Media and the not so mundane hashtags

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Washington: A new study conducted by a team that includes an Indian American researcher found that using hashtags is a practice which enables messages to reach more people. They tend to be more formal and also drop the use of emoticons and abbreviations.

hashtagBut when Twitter users use the @ symbol to address smaller audiences, they are more likely to use non-standard words such as “nah”, “cuz”, and “smh” said the team from Georgia Institute of Technology.

They also found when people write to someone from the same city, they are even more likely to use non-standard language – often language that is specific to that geographical area.

“Since social media facilitates conversations between people all over the world, we were curious why we still see such a remarkable degree of geographical differentiation in online language,” explained lead researcher Jacob Eisenstein, assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s school of interactive computing.

The findings show that the most geographically differentiated language is more likely to be used in messages that will reach only a local audience, and therefore, will be less likely to spread to other locations.

For this, Eisenstein’s team sifted through three years of tweets that included 114 million geotagged messages from 2.77 million users.

“People want to show their regional identity or their tech savviness, using Twitter-specific terms, to their close social network ties,” added Umashanthi Pavalanathan, Georgia Tech graduate research scientist.

This research shows that for many people on Twitter, non-standard English is not a question of ability, but of reserving standard English for the right social situations.

“In this sense, heavy social media users have an especially nuanced understanding of language, since they maintain multiple linguistic systems. They know to use each system when it’s socially appropriate,” the authors noted in a paper appeared in the journal American Speech.

(with inputs from IANS)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)