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Monday, April 8th, 2013
People who post anti-vaccine messages on Twitter tend to lead to other negative tweets, while positive messages don’t spread support for vaccines in the same way, a new study published in the journal EPJ Data Science. NBC News has more:
The study analyzed more than 300,000 tweets that expressed an opinion about the H1N1 flu vaccine in 2009.
Twitter users who saw anti-vaccine posts in their Twitter feed tended to tweet anti-vaccine sentiments themselves, the results show. However, those who saw positive vaccine sentiments didn’t tweet positive sentiments themselves.
What’s more, positive tweets about vaccines sometimes had the opposite effect — a high number of pro-vaccine posts seemed to encourage people to tweet negatively about vaccines, said study researcher Marcel Salathé, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University.
“In other words, pro-vaccine messages seemed to backfire when enough of them were received,” Salathé said.
The reason for this phenomenon is not clear. But it’s possible that “many people had latent negative opinions about the vaccine, and when they were intensely exposed to enough positive messages, they felt the need to express their negative sentiment,” Salathé said.
Image: Mom on computer, via Shutterstock
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Friday, February 22nd, 2013
In an apparent attempt to raise awareness and start conversations about what really happens during a Cesarean section, Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas took the unusual step of live-tweeting during an actual C-section procedure. More from CBS Houston:
The team began tweeting live at about 7 a.m. after promoting the online procedure for days. They even developed a Twitter “hashtag” of “#MHbaby” to gain followers and promote discussion about the procedure on Twitter.
During Wednesday’s procedure, the hospital gained hundreds of followers; it’s not clear how many people watched the surgery.
Memorial Hermann Hospital is no stranger to using Twitter as a vehicle to broadcast their medical procedures. The hospital live tweeted a brain surgery last year and said that they gained 7,000 followers and more than 230,000 people viewed that procedure.
Image: Doctor on mobile device, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Though nine out of ten teenagers use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites and report it has more of a positive than negative role in their lives, Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives, a new report from Common Sense Media’s Program for the Study of Children and Media, has found that many teens still prefer talking to interacting digitally – and many describe their relationships with social media as an “addiction.”
According to the report, teens’ favorite way to communicate with their friends is by talking in person (49%), with texting next (33%) and social media a distant third (7%). Teens who prefer talking face-to-face say it’s because it’s more fun (38%), and they can better understand what people mean (29%). The telephone, a mainstay of teenage life just a generation ago, is virtually dead: Only 4% of teens prefer to talk on the phone.
“Today’s 13- to 17-year-olds are the first generation to go through their entire teen years with such an array of digital devices and platforms,” said James P. Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media in a statement. “This report reads as a primer for parents to teens and tweens — to help them understand how their kids are engaging with technology and to highlight any impact it might be having on their social and emotional well-being.”
Image: Teen girl texting, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
Rosie Pope, the maternity designer who is featured on the reality television program “Pregnant in Heels,” gave birth to a baby girl Sunday, her third child with husband Daron Pope. US Weekly reports that Pope live-tweeted during her labor:
“Contractions 3-5 mins apart,” Pope tweeted around 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. “Just spoke to my boys, they are excited and got up to say good bye to mom this morning.”
“My water just broke!” Pope tweeted thirty minutes later. Eventually, husband Daron took over tweeting and wrote, “Daron here: let the pushing begin! After 1st vomit, she started pushing. She’s doing great.”
And eventually their little princess arrived!
“This is Daron: our beautiful princess is born!” he tweeted. “Baby and Rosie are doing great!!! What a miracle!”
Image: Rosie Pope, via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Offensive sexist or racist language on social networking sites is dismissed by many young people as in the “just joking” category, a new Associated Press-MTV poll has found, but a significant minority are hurt by the language, particularly when they are part of the group being targeted.
The AP reports:
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Seventy-one percent say people are more likely to use slurs online or in text messages than in person, and only about half say they are likely to ask someone using such language online to stop.
“On Twitter, everybody’s getting hit hard. Nobody really cares about nobody’s feelings,” said Kervin Browner II, 20, a junior at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. “You never know how bad it hurts people because they don’t say anything.”
But young people who use racist or sexist language are probably offending more people than they realize, even in their own age range. The poll of 14- to 24-year-olds shows a significant minority are upset by some pejoratives, especially when they identify with the group being targeted.
“It’s so derogatory to women and demeaning, it just makes you feel gross,” Lori Pletka, 22, says about “slut” and more vulgar words aimed at women. The Southeast Missouri State University senior said other terms regularly offend her online, too — slurs for black people, Hispanics, and gays or lesbians.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed say they see people being mean to others on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. And 51 percent encounter discriminatory words or images on those sites.
But they mostly write off the slurs as jokes or attempts to act cool. Fifty-seven percent say “trying to be funny” is a big reason people use discriminatory language online. About half that many say a big reason is that people “really hold hateful feelings about the group.”
(image via: http://www.life123.com/)