If you are a scientist and public communicator, you are putting yourself in professional and personal danger. And as Kevin Folta's case shows, things are only getting worse.
A 16-year-old girl uses her social media account to post this question: Should I kill myself? Sixty-nine percent of people who responded said yes. So she did. This isn't the plot of a twisted new movie. This, according to a report coming from Malaysia, actually happened. There are four important points to discuss stemming from this tragedy.
A former high school science teacher, who believes the biotech industry commits crimes against humanity, attacked our organization on an anti-Semitic website. We, of course, are honored. And we have a few things to point out as a result.
Due to rampant false claims, could moratoriums on medical searches by social media companies actually free up time in an office visit. And also, lessen health care burdens?
In the short term, it seems that social media could be helpful in creating supportive networks for people with poor mental health. But in the long term, it depends on how we start to challenge societal perceptions of the issue. If nothing changes, then at least be prepared for challenges ahead.
What a medical doctor sees in social media posts can tell an entirely different picture than the one intended to be told. As the saying goes "the devil is in the details."
When what's absent in a story carries equal or more weight than what is actually reported, the damage goes beyond ratings. It undermines public health.
Due to the daily coarsening of civil discourse on social media, routine conflict resolution has gone out the window. If that is all kids see, then that is all they learn for their future.
The Centers for Disease Control has been tracking depression for several years. A new report reveals its prevalence among American adults aged 20 and over.
A 1% increase in suicide-related search terms resulted in 54 additional suicides in the United States. Do search engines like Google or social media outlets like Facebook have any responsibility to monitor the mental health of their users?
If we can tune out, move away from, and shun people with whom we disagree, is this course of action also acceptable?
Twitter, the social media device that often produces a toxic mixture of snark and narcissism, rarely bringing out the best in people. But scientists studying the platform are searching for a useful signal: A predictor of mental illness.