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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nobody is safe on Facebook

Por qubano22005

US Congress and Mark Zuckenberg have already made it clear: nobody is safe on Facebook. There were not 50 million data but, so far, 87 million one that have been counted, including those of the president of the social network. But Mark’s creation could cause greater implications than the theft of profile data for political management and political consultants. Researchers and agents from American cities such as Chicago have shown how several gangs use social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, for their criminal activities. They have even argued that the interaction between them in social networks has often leaded to violence.

Several stories have drawn the attention of scholars from the United States. A teenager from Chicago was well known for her Twitter aggressive messages after the death of one of her classmates that she swore to avenge. The girl was a "tough one". Gakirah Barnes gained a reputation because she was supposedly the responsible of numerous murders, although she never faced charges. Weeks after her last threat, a message in which she posed with pistols and published intimidating texts to her rivals, appeared with a bullet in the head, presumably given by her enemies. Barnes, who was very active in social networks, is an essential element of Patton's work, an assistant professor in Columbia's School of Social Work.

Numerous researches from American universities analyze the implications of what they have called the net banging. New York’s Columbia University researchers studied more than 200 Chicago gang members on Twitter to understand the implications of using social networks. They also searched the profiles of 235 people affiliated to Chicago gangs, as well as their closest associates. They also investigated a total of 2,200 tweets, which were categorized as "loss" those related to mourning, death or imprisonment; and as "aggression" those related to insults, threats or mention of physical violence.

So far, the results published recently in NPJ Digital Medicine, a medical journal, have shown that “catchy” aggressive tweets are related to losses associated with those involved. They even sound like revenge or are an expression of deep pain. According to scholars, aggressive tweets are generally preceded by loss publications. Almost with the precision of a clock, the researchers point out that the publication of an aggressive tweet preceded by one of "loss" one takes a maximum of 2 days.

Desmond Patton, the professor in charge of the research, says that the findings of the study indicate that social workers or counselors should pay more attention to young people in social networks that are trapped in street violence. He also warned that they must prevent that expressions of pain should be followed, because they are almost always preceded by tweets of violence and, consequently, violence.

Desmond said, in addition, the social networks are the current platforms to channel violence, but also to carry them out. According to Patton, sometimes they seem simple aggressive messages but his study has shown these comments become real. At the moment, Patton and his team are just trying to understand the violent world that surrounds social networks. He is convinced that it is necessary to study other networks and other violence generation forms to know what are the real implications for the world of social networks, but mainly, to understand what the future regulations society should have so that social networks do not become another vehicle for violence.

Desmond also believes, in addition to social networks, it is necessary to investigate online portals where gangsters make fun of and threaten their rivals.