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Using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook over two hours a day bad for kids’ memory

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Ottawa:  Spending more than two hours daily on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can put your kids at the risk of developing poor mental health, high psychological distress and even suicidal thoughts, new research shows.

“The findings send an important message to parents and suggest an opportunity to increase mental health support service offerings on these websites,” said researchers Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga and Rosamund Lewis from Ottawa Public Health in Canada.

The duo compared time spent using social networking sites to the teenagers’ self-reports of psychological well-being and unmet needs for mental health support.

They analysed data on students in grades seven-12 from the “Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey”.

Nearly 25 percent of students reported using social networking sites for more than two hours daily.

“However, this is where we see social networking sites, which may be a problem for some, and a solution for some,” said Brenda K. Wiederhold from the Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, California.

“Since teenagers are on the sites, it is the perfect place for public health and service providers to reach out and connect with this vulnerable population and provide health promotion systems and supports,” Wiederhold added.

The paper appeared in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking. (IANS)

 

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Private Photos May Have Been Exposed Due To Facebook’s Flaw

Facebook has also come under criticism for fake political ads posted on its site from Russia and other countries.

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Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook says a software flaw may have exposed private photos of nearly 7 million users, the latest in a series of privacy issues facing the social media company.

Facebook said Friday that the photo glitch gave about 1,500 software apps unauthorized access to private photos for 12 days in September.

“We’re sorry this happened,” Facebook said in a blog. It said it would notify users whose photos might have been affected.

Facebook, data, photos
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Irish regulator to investigate

The software flaw affected users who gave third-party applications permission to access their photos. Facebook usually allows the apps to access only photos shared on a user’s timeline. However, the glitch would have allowed the apps to see additional photos, including those on Marketplace and Facebook Stories, as well as ones uploaded but not shared.

It is not known whether any of the photos were actually accessed.

The lead regulator of Facebook in the European Union, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), said it was investigating the situation to determine whether the company complied with strict new EU privacy rules.

While Facebook says the bug has been fixed, the revelation brought new scrutiny to a company that has faced a series of security and privacy breaches.

Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Earlier issues

Earlier this year, Facebook acknowledged that a political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica, gained access to the personal data from millions of user profiles.

In September, the company said it discovered a security breach affecting about 50 million user accounts that could have allowed hackers to access the accounts. The company said hackers exploited the “View As” feature, which lets users see how their own profiles would look to other people.

Also Read: Facebook Dismisses Report of Journalists’ Frustration With Fact-Checking

Facebook has also come under criticism for fake political ads posted on its site from Russia and other countries.

The company has more than 2 billion users worldwide. (VOA)