Saturday February 16, 2019
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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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Facebook Tracking Location Data of Users Who Threaten its Employees

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services.

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Facebook
Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties. Pixabay

Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties, the media reported.

According to a report in CNBC on Thursday, the tracking of users begins when the Facebook security team finds they are making “credible threats on its social network”.

The tracking is done by using location data taken from the user’s Facebook app or an IP address collected by the social network when a user is active on Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, facebook
Facebook CEO receives threatening comments from users.

The locations of users are only accessible after they were placed on a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) list after their threats are deemed credible. The list is updated nearly once a week.

“The company mines its social network for threatening comments, and in some cases uses its products to track the location of people it believes present a credible threat,” said the report.

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. “That means that if just 0.01 per cent of users make a threat, Facebook is still dealing with 270,000 potential security risks, the report added.

Users who publicly threaten the company — including posting threatening comments to company executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are added to the list.

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Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. Pixabay

“Our physical security team exists to keep employees safe,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Facebook Negotiating Multi-billion Dollar Fine With US Agency: Report

“We have strict processes designed to protect people’s privacy and adhere to all data privacy laws and Facebook’s terms of service. Any suggestion our onsite physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Depending on the threat, Facebook’s security teams can take other actions, such as stationing security guards, escorting a BOLO user off campus or alerting law enforcement. (IANS)