New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) More than 5 million people globally have used Facebook profile frames in support of vaccination and since April, over 7 million users on Instagram have used Covid-19 vaccine stickers to share that they got vaccinated or share their support for vaccines.Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday that over the course of the pandemic, it has removed more than 16 million pieces of content from its apps for breaking rules on COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation. "For certain content that does not break these rules, but could still discourage someone from getting vaccinated, we reduce its distribution on Facebook and remove it from recommendations on Facebook and Instagram," the company added.Since January, Facebook has given more than $30 million in ad credits to help governments, NGOs and other organisations reach people with COVID-19 vaccine information and other important messages. "These information campaigns resulted in an estimated 10 billion ad impressions globally. We're also adding authoritative information to posts about vaccines on Facebook and Instagram that link to the COVID-19 Information Center for more resources," the company informed.In the US, vaccine acceptance has been increasing steadily since January, increasing nearly 10 per cent among all adults. "We observed a particularly large increase in vaccine acceptance within certain populations in the US. Vaccine acceptance increased 26 per cent among Black adults and 14 per cent among Hispanic adults," Facebook said. Vaccine access also remains a challenge. "In April, among adults who intend to get vaccinated (but have not yet), 36 per cent felt uninformed about how to get a vaccine and only 22 per cent reported that they have an appointment," said Facebook.--IANSna/
New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) After Facebook and Twitter, Instagram on Friday announced to roll out two new features to help tackle the spread of Covid-19 misinformation on its platform.The company said that with more countries around the world seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, the new notification features will help people stay up-to-date and get information from credible sources directly on Instagram."First, in places where cases are surging, people will see a prompt at the top of their Feed, connecting them to health authorities such as the CDC, WHO or their local counterparts," Instagram said in a tweet.Second, in addition to removing widely debunked claims about the Covid-19 vaccines, "when people search for terms related to vaccines or Covid-19, we'll direct them to information from credible health authorities".Earlier, Twitter announced to remove tweets making false or misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccinations from next week and label such fake claims from early next year.Using a combination of technology and human review, Twitter said that it will begin enforcing this updated policy on December 21 and expanding its actions during the following weeks.From early 2021, Twitter may label or place a warning on Tweets that advance unsubstantiated rumours, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines.The Twitter action came after reports surfaced earlier this week that Facebook will now send notifications directly to users who like, share, or comment on such posts.According to a report from Fast Company, the social network is changing how it reaches people who have encountered misinformation on its platform."The company will now send notifications to anyone who has liked, commented, or shared a piece of Covid-19 misinformation that's been taken down for violating the platform's terms of service," the report said.--IANSna/
Sydney - Not just women, men and teenagers are affected by Instagram influencers who set global benchmarks for ideal body shape, fashion and even facial trends, say researchers.
While perhaps not as focused on 'thinness' as women appear to be from female influencers, the study, published in the journal Body Image, confirmed males are responding to the body image and fitness messages shared by Instagram leaders, some with millions of followers.
"This may mean men are less exposed to some of the negatives of social media but confirms the influence of fitspiration ('fitspo') and body image on this online platform," said study author from the Flinders University in Australia.
Despite the rise in use of social media, there haven't been many studies into its effect on men and the new study found there are similarities and differences between women and men.
"While participants all had some vulnerable responses to some types of social media imagery, results typically obtained for women cannot simply be generalised to men," said study author Marika Tiggemann, who has extensively researched the power of social media images on body image, eating and other behaviour in women.
According to the researchers, the new study shows there is a high level of response to fitspiration goals via Instagram influencers.
"It is interesting that both the fitspiration and fashion images made participants feel more inspired to exercise, and we have certainly seen a rise in men following international fitspo and professional sporting hero influencers," said study co-author Isabella Anderberg.
The team studied responses from 300 US adult men aged 18-30 who were randomly shown images of bare-chested (fitspiration), clothed (fashion) and control images, similar to those posted by Instagram influencers.
It was found that exposure to bare-chested and muscular images resulted in significantly lower body satisfaction relative to viewing clothed fashion images or scenery images.
"It's important to expand this research, including on the 'Brotox' facial ideals set in social media which is leading to more men reportedly using skin products and even cosmetic fillers and botox to keep up to influencers," Anderberg noted. (IANS)
New York- The ‘kid influencers -- children whose parents film them doing activities such as science experiments, playing with toys, or celebrating their birthdays -- are promoting junk food brands on YouTube and millions of parents have no choice but to turn their children to watch such videos, a new study has stressed.
The growing popularity of kid influencers has caught the attention of companies, who advertise or sponsor posts to promote their products before or during videos.
In fact, the highest-paid YouTube influencer of the past two years was an eight-year-old who earned $26 million last year.
Kids with wildly popular YouTube channels are frequently promoting unhealthy food and drinks in their videos, warned researchers at New York University's School of Global Public Health.
"Kids already see several thousand food commercials on television every year, and adding these YouTube videos on top of it may make it even more difficult for parents and children to maintain a healthy diet," said Marie Bragg, assistant professor of public health nutrition at NYU School of Global Public Health.
"We need a digital media environment that supports healthy eating instead of discouraging it", she said in a paper published in the journal Pediatrics.
Food and beverage companies spend $1.8 billion dollars a year marketing their products to young people.
Although TV advertising is a major source of food marketing, companies have dramatically increased online advertising in response to consumers' growing social media use.
YouTube is the second most visited website in the world and is a popular destination for kids seeking entertainment.
More than 80% of parents with a child younger than 12 years old allow their child to watch YouTube, and 35% of parents report that their kid watches YouTube regularly.
"The allure of YouTube may be especially strong in 2020 as many parents are working remotely and have to juggle the challenging task of having young kids at home because of COVID-19," said Bragg, the study's senior author.
Parents may not realize that kid influencers are often paid by food companies to promote unhealthy food and beverages in their videos.
Bragg and her colleagues identified the five most popular kid influencers on YouTube of 2019 -- whose ages ranged from 3 to 14 years old -- and analyzed their most-watched videos.
The researchers found that nearly half of the most popular videos from kid influencers (42.8%) promoted food and drinks.
More than 90 percent of the products shown were unhealthy branded food, drinks, or fast food toys, with fast food as the most frequently featured junk food, followed by candy and soda.
The videos featuring junk food product placements were viewed more than 1 billion times -- a staggering level of exposure for food and beverage companies.
"It was concerning to see that kid influencers are promoting a high volume of junk food in their YouTube videos, and that those videos are generating enormous amounts of screen time for these unhealthy products," Bragg lamented.
The researchers encouraged regulators to strengthen and enforce regulations of junk food advertising by kid influencers. (IANS)
San Francisco, Sep 11 (IANS) Facebook said it will take more concrete steps against potentially harmful content along with creating new Instagram wellness guides to help prevent suicides in the Covid-19 times.Following the release of wellness guides on Instagram, Fcaebook is launching localised guides that address ways to prevent suicide and support those who might be struggling. "For example, in India, the Suicide Prevention India Foundation's guide focuses on how to foster social connectedness and in Hong Kong, Samaritans HK's guide shares ways to check in on your friends," Facebook said in a blog post on Thursday, the day when the World Suicide Prevention Day was observed.Getting people help in real time is especially important when they are in distress. "In the coming months, we'll make it easier for people to talk in real time with trained crisis and mental health support volunteers over Messenger," the company informed.With the increase of online learning due to Covid-19, Facebook said it is expanding online resources for educators and adding Orygen's #chatsafe guidelines on how to help young people talk safely online about suicide to Facebook's Safety Center. These will be available first in English, and seven more languages next month. A June study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the pandemic is having a serious impact on the mental health of young adults, caregivers, essential workers and minorities in particular. One in four young adults aged 18-24 said they considered suicide in the 30 days prior to the study. They specifically cited the pandemic as a factor. "We work closely with suicide prevention experts like Samaritans in the UK on our approach to suicide and self-harm content," Facebook said.--IANSna/
New York, Aug 26 (IANS) Researchers have found that thousands of social media posts on popular platforms Twitter and Instagram were tied to financial scams and possible counterfeit goods specific to Covid-19 products.The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, has identified nearly 2,000 fraudulent postings (from March to May) likely linked to fake Covid-19 health products, financial scams, and other consumer risk."We started this work with the opioid crisis and have been performing research like this for many years in order to detect illicit drug dealer," said study author Timothy Mackey from the University of California San Diego in the US."We are now using some of those same techniques in this study to identify fake Covid-19 products for sale," Mackey added.The fraudulent posts came in two waves, focused on unproven marketing claims for prevention or cures and fake testing kits."Now, a third wave of fake pharmaceutical treatments is now materialising and will worsen when public health officials announce development of an effective vaccine or other therapeutic treatments," the researchers said.The team identified suspected posts through a combination of Natural Language Processing and machine learning. Topic model clusters were transferred into a deep learning algorithm to detect fraudulent posts.The findings were customised to a data dashboard in order to enable public health intelligence and provide reports to authorities, including the World Health Organization and US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)."We recommend that anyone concerned of contracting Covid-19 or hoping to be tested first work with their personal health care provider or local public health agency to ensure safe access to testing or treatment, and report any suspicious activity to federal authorities," said Mackey."Our hope is that the results from this study will better inform social media users so they can better decipher between fraudulent and legitimate posts," the study author noted.Earlier this month, Interpol had said that online sale of fake medical supplies, drugs and personal protective equipment, and exploitation of teleconference tools are the major Covid-19 cybercrime trends in Asia.--IANSbu/na