Tweets About Suicide Correlate With State Suicide Rates
Brigham Young researchers say their findings prove the value of social media as a possible tool in suicide prevention.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Using algorithms to search through millions of tweets nationwide over a three-month period, researchers at Brigham Young University discovered a troubling but potentially valuable trend: Each state's ratio of tweets discussing suicide or key risk factors for suicide correlated strongly with that state's actual suicide rate as reported by traditional sources. A paper describing the research in detail was published online in Crisis.
What's the Big Idea?
The researchers strongly suggest that social media be incorporated into existing suicide prevention strategies. Study co-author Michael Barnes says, "Tweets may be useful to address some of the functions that suicide hotline groups perform, but at the discretion and potential for such organizations to provide those services via Twitter." The team wants to include other social networks by creating an app that will allow schools to track students' posts (with their permission) and receive alerts at potential signs of trouble. Says study co-author Christophe Giraud-Carrier: "With social media, kids sometimes say things that they aren't saying out loud to an adult or friend in person."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.