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12/8/17: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed. 

 

1. Facebook is using artificial intelligence to prevent suicide

In an effort to prevent suicide, Facebook is rolling out a new "proactive detection" software to catch suicidal behavior before it leads to something worse. The pattern-detection software will detect comments such as "Are you OK?" and "Can I help?" to get first responders to those in danger. The app will also be able to send resources, like the Crisis Text Line and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, to those in need. 

 

2. Study reveals teens may bounce back from online risks

It's not a secret social media and online activity can lead teens to experience negative content, like cyberbullying and unwanted solicitations. A recent study, conducted by the University of Central Florida, Pennsylvania State, and Ohio State, has found that more often than not, teens bounce back from these negative online experiences.

The study had a small sample of 68 teens chronicle their online experiences for eight weeks, then evaluated responses, testing for emotional state and well-being. Of course, teens were more likely to report negative well-being during weeks when they encountered cyberbullying, but in the majority of situations, teens showed resilience, bouncing back in a week. "I think if there is a message here, it is that teens are being exposed a lot, but they bounce back and show resiliency," said Bridget McHugh, who worked on the study while a Ph.D student at UCF and is now a leadership development consultant at Ohio State University. "We're not exactly sure how they are learning the coping skills, but they are and that's good news."

McHugh said coping may be happening through other online interactions with friends or through support from social media communities.

Pamela Wisniewski, a computer science assistant professor at UCF in Orlando, and co-author of the study, concluded that more research needs to be conducted into how teens learn to cope in the constantly changing social media world.

 

3. Facebook creates app that targets kids and tweens

With Facebook's Messenger Kids, the social media site is inviting kids and tweens under 13 to download their own messaging app. The only catch: it's almost completely controlled by a parent. The goal is to provide a way for the under-13 group to have access to conversations with friends and family, without being exposed to possible risks by having their own Facebook profile. Even to befriend a classmate, a parent has to become friends with the classmate's parent. The app also comes with a built-in reporting interface, where kids can flag any inappropriate content. 

 

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