Thursday March 21, 2019

We like taking selfies but not looking at them: Study

A recent study has shown even though clicking selfies is hugely popular on social networking sites, most users would prefer to see less selfies

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The new survey reveals Indians top the list of tourists glued to their phones while on vacation.(Representative image) Wikimedia

London, Feb 28, 2017:  Although taking selfies is hugely popular, most people would prefer to see fewer selfies on social media, a study has found.

Selfies are enormously popular on social media. According to Google statistics estimates, about 93 million selfies were taken per day in 2014, counting only those taken on Android devices.

 The findings showed that compared to the selfies taken by themselves, people attributed greater self-presentational motives and less authenticity to selfies taken by others.

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Selfies taken by themselves were also judged as self-ironic and more authentic.

This phenomenon, where many people regularly take selfies but most people don’t appear to like them has been termed the “selfie paradox” by Sarah Diefenbach, Professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Germany.

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To assess people’s motives and judgements when taking and viewing selfies, the team conducted an online survey of a total of 238 persons living in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

The results showed that 77 percent of the participants regularly took selfies.

“One reason for this might be their fit with widespread self-presentation strategies such as self-promotion and self-disclosure”, Diefenbach said in the paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Interestingly, despite 77 percent of the participants taking selfies regularly, 62-67 percent agreed on the potential negative consequences of selfies, such as impacts on self-esteem.

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This negative perception of selfies was also illustrated by 82 percent of participants indicating that they would rather see other types of photos instead of selfies on social media. (IANS)

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Despite All The Efforts, Political Campaign Spends on Social Media Remain A Mystery

But even as the Election Commission has made social media companies follow certain norms, such as pre-certification of political ads to prevent misuse of the platforms, such measures are unlikely to bring adequate transparency to the whole process

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The Election Commission is in talks with the representatives of Internet companies, including social media platforms, on the use of social media for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls while the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Pixabay

Despite all the efforts put in place by social media companies to show who is paying for the political advertisements on their platforms, the users may not know the actual amount spent to run political campaigns on these websites.

Facebook has a searchable database for political ads which anyone can access. This Ad Library report from the social media giant shows that Indians have spent over Rs 6.5 crore in over 30,000 ads related to politics since February 2019 — in the run up to the general elections.

Similarly, Twitter also has an Ad Transparency Centre which allows one to search which account has spent how much in the past seven days.

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“In terms of political ads, social media companies should allow only certified agencies to post ads. This would make the monitoring process much easier for everyone. Allowing any individual to post political ads complicates the monitoring process. This is a big loophole,” he said. Pixabay

While these efforts are being regarded as important steps towards bringing transparency in the political process, they may not reflect the complete picture of how the social media space operates, according to experts.

“Influencers play a very important role in political campaigns and 90 per cent of the transactions related to these campaigns are done through cash,” social media expert Anoop Mishra told IANS.

Knowing which party is spending how much on social media is important because much of what trends on Twitter or what becomes popular on Facebook – with potential to impact voter behaviour – may actually be due to the money and manpower of political parties while creating an illusion of organic support from hundreds and thousands of users in these platforms.

“Every political party including the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) are trying to push their agenda on social media. But those parties with greater money, manpower and tech expertise are likely to win the social media war,” Mishra said.

He added that political parties were employing a large number of people to make their propaganda material viral on social media.

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Similarly, Twitter also has an Ad Transparency Centre which allows one to search which account has spent how much in the past seven days.
Pixabay

“In terms of political ads, social media companies should allow only certified agencies to post ads. This would make the monitoring process much easier for everyone. Allowing any individual to post political ads complicates the monitoring process. This is a big loophole,” he said.

“Encrypted platforms like WhatsApp could be used extensively to spread advertisements and propaganda, which could be difficult to be tracked,” added Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director, Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC.in), a Delhi-based not-for-profit legal services body.

Also Read: Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity
The Election Commission is in talks with the representatives of Internet companies, including social media platforms, on the use of social media for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls while the Model Code of Conduct is in force.

But even as the Election Commission has made social media companies follow certain norms, such as pre-certification of political ads to prevent misuse of the platforms, such measures are unlikely to bring adequate transparency to the whole process. (IANS)