Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Study could be used to counter high suicide rates

Facebook Emotional Contagion Study could be used to counter NZ high suicide rates

Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question must be asked. The merits of the study have been widely debated. Many thought the study overstepped the constraints of ethical research, while others considered it standard practice, and user beware applies. The results, however, have conrmed that Facebook could indeed act as a vector for mental well being or lack thereof. From a New Zealander’s perspective, with our disproportionately high youth suicide rates, this is something that should absolutely be explored if there is any potential to slow this alarming trend. Most people have experienced, at least in some mild form, a feeling of being left out when viewing friend’s social activities splashed across Facebook. I don’t need an emotional contagion study to inform me that people’s Facebook behaviour can affect my mood. I am interested however, in the rising awareness that social networks can act as a barometer for people’s emotional health. “Suicide threats on Social networks” describes this phenomenon. Facebook’s Data Scientist, Adam Kramer has been quoted as saying, “We care about the emotional impact of Facebook and the people that use our product. We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out. At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook.”

Facebook has already allowed data to be used for research in the area of predicting suicide with Middle East war veterans (The Durkheim Project). One account states that phase one experimental results have shown an ability to predict likeliness of suicide with correlations of 65 percent by analysing social media-related text. Perhaps if Facebook really does care about it’s users' emotional well being, they could take these results and their own, and provide some genuine assistance. Possibly in the form of onsite education in place of a tiny portion of some their advertising space. They could take it upon themselves to offer some medically approved advice to their users about how to pick up on the early indicators for people displaying high suicide risk or other psychological disorders. Or perhaps links to helplines with an eye-catching visual. Of course the degree to which you are affected emotionally does come down to the individual, and all the onus for monitoring mental health should be placed just on Facebook's shoulders. Self awareness and taking control of your social media life does not stop at the keyboard despite your perceived distance from your audience. If you are affected negatively by something you willingly take part in, then stop or at least modify. Block news feeds from recidivist show offs and/or reduce your friend list to only those you actually want to hear from. Simple but highly effective.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news