Twitter has removed some accounts thought to be used to circumvent a ban on conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and Infowars, the company said Tuesday.
A Twitter spokesman confirmed that the accounts had been removed but provided no additional comment. The company says it usually does not discuss specific accounts.
Twitter permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope in early September. It said it based that action in reports of tweets and videos that violated its policy against abusive behavior.
The company said it would continue to evaluate reports regarding other accounts potentially associated with @realalexjones or @infowars and would take action if it finds content that violates its rules or if other accounts are used to try to circumvent their ban.
Other tech companies, including PayPal, YouTube, Apple and Spotify, have limited or banned Jones’ activities on their sites.
Infowars has said the moves are intended to sabotaging the site just weeks before the midterm elections.
On Twitter and elsewhere, Jones has done such things as describe survivors of a shooting in Parkland, Florida, “crisis actors” and saying the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 was fake. He had about 900,000 followers on Twitter. Infowars had about 430,000. (VOA)
Researchers have found that users who tweet on loneliness are much more likely to write about mental well-being issues and things like struggles with relationships, substance use and insomnia on Twitter.
By applying linguistic analytic models to tweets, researchers were able to gain an insight into the topics and themes that could be associated with loneliness.
“Loneliness can be a slow killer, as some of the medical problems associated with it can take decades to manifest,” said the study’s lead author Sharath Chandra Guntuku, from University of Pennsylvania in the US.
“If we are able to identify lonely individuals and intervene before the health conditions associated with the themes we found begin to unfold, we have a change to help those much earlier in their lives. This could be very powerful and have long-lasting effects on public health,” Guntuku said.
By determining typical themes and linguistic markers posted to social media that are associated with people who are lonely, the team has uncovered some of the ingredients necessary to construct a ‘loneliness’ prediction system.
As part of the study, published in the journal BMJ, researchers analysed public accounts from users based in Pennsylvania and found that 6,202 accounts used words such as ‘lonely’ or ‘alone’ more than five times between 2012 and 2016.
Comparing the entire Twitter timelines of these users to a matched group who did not have such language included their posts, the researchers showed that ‘lonely’ users tweeted nearly twice as much and were much more likely to do so at night.
When the tweets were analysed via several different linguistic analytic models, the users who posted about loneliness had an extremely high association with anger, depression and anxiety, when compared to the ‘non-lonely’ group.
Additionally, the lonely groups were significantly associated with tweeting about struggles with relationships (for example, using phrases like ‘want somebody’ or ‘no one to’) and substance use (‘smoke,’ ‘weed,’ and ‘drunk’)
“On Twitter, we found lonely users expressing a need for social support, and it appears that the use of expletives and the expression of anger is a sign of that being unfulfilled,” Guntuku said.
Users in the group that didn’t post about loneliness seemed to display some social connections, as they were found to be more likely to engage in conversations, especially by including others’ user names (using ‘@twitter_handle’) in their tweets.
In the future, the researchers hope to develop a better measure of the different dimensions of loneliness that online users are feeling and expressing. (IANS)