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Twitter India Unveils Special Emoji on Partnering with White Swan Foundation

Twitter has a dedicated reporting form for people threatening suicide or self harm, and a specialised team who review these reports

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Twitter
Twitter confirms third-party involvement in crypto hackings. Pixabay

In a bid to raise awareness on suicide prevention in India, Twitter India on Monday announced a partnership with non-profit organisation White Swan Foundation in which, the company will provide them with #adsforgood grants to help them reach more people.

Twitter, in partnership with the International Association for Suicide Prevention, also launched a special emoji for the World Suicide Prevention Day, that was observed on September 10, globally including in India.

“Through our partnerships with International Association for Suicide Prevention and White Swan Foundation, we aim to create greater awareness around suicide and suicide prevention, connect with people and address mental health issues prevailing in our society,” Mahima Kaul, Head of Public Policy, Twitter India, said in a statement.

The emoji will appear when people tweet with the hashtags #WorldSuicidePreventionDay or #WSPD.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year — one person every 40 seconds.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

Twitter said that addressing mental health requires collaboration between all stakeholders — public, private and not-for-profit.

“Twitter’s subscriber base has the potential to become crucial change agents in the society to question the norms and create a movement where the focus shifts to prevention and inclusive care,” said Manoj Chandra, CEO, White Swan Foundation.

The micro-blogging platform is increasingly witnessing mental health organisations in India offering critical services via digital channels and social media platforms that are relevant, widely used and reflective of the way society communicates.

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“Twitter has a dedicated reporting form for people threatening suicide or self harm, and a specialised team who review these reports.

“When they receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, they will contact the reported user and let him or her know that someone who cares about them identified that they might be at risk,” the company said. (IANS)

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Are you an Avid Twitter User? Your Posts can Reveal How Lonely you are

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

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Twitter, User, Posts
Loneliness can be a slow killer, as some of the medical problems associated with it can take decades to manifest. Pixabay

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.

Twitter, User, Posts
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. Pixabay

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.

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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)