Friday July 19, 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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Twitter Testing a New Feature Called ‘Hide Replies’

A Twitter user can also hide replies that attempt to correct misinformation or offer a fact check

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FILE - A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

You will soon be able to hide replies in the conversation thread on Twitter that are offensive, hateful or racist in nature. The micro-blogging platform is testing a feature called “Hide Replies”, beginning with users in Canada which will be rolled out globally.

It is not the equivalent of a delete button but hides replies behind an icon.

If your followers still want to see the hidden replies, they can press the icon and view those.

“We’re testing a feature to hide replies from conversations. This experience will be available for everyone around the world, but at this time, only people in Canada can hide replies to their tweets,” Twitter Support posted late on Wednesday.

“They’ll be hidden from the main conversation for everyone behind a new icon. As long as it hasn’t been deleted and/or is not from an account with protected tweets, everyone can still interact with a hidden reply by clicking the icon to view,” it added.

Twitter CEO
This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. VOA

The aim, said Twitter, is to have healthy conversations on its platform.

There is, however, a downside to the feature.

“For example, a user could choose to hide replies that simply disagreed with their views. This would then create a ‘filter bubble’ where only people who shared the original poster’s same opinion would have their comments prominently displayed,” reports Tech Crunch.

Also Read: Cyber Criminals Attack Nearly 10,000 Microsoft Customers

A Twitter user can also hide replies that attempt to correct misinformation or offer a fact check.

However, for Twitter, “transparency is important to us — that’s why we’re hiding the replies behind an icon where they can still be accessed. We want to give tweet authors control over their conversations, but in a way that’s open”. (IANS)