Friday Social Round Up: #Susanalbumparty, #Facebook Dictatorship, #Dumbways2die and Social Media Psychosis


Susan Boyle has launched another album – Party – and, in order to promote it, her PR team decided to use the hashtag #susanalbumparty (read “Susan Album Party”). This is apparently an honest mistake. I’m sceptical: why is there no S after Susan?

Either way, this unfortunate hashtag became a global trending topic, and has joined the likes of #therapistfinder (Therapist Finder) and #childrenslaughterhouse (Children’s Laughter House) in being named one of the most unfortunate hashtags to date.

Where this might have helped boost album sales for other artists, I’m not entirely sure that Susan Boyle fans will feel the same.

Facebook is not a democracy

Our glorious leader has spoken! Facebook users will now no longer be able to vote on proposed policy changes at the company. This move was apparently taken as our comments weren’t good enough!

Previously, any policy changes that incurred more than seven thousand comments would be put to the public vote. While some comments have helped the company develop alternatives, Facebook said that this “actually resulted in a system that incentivised the quantity of comments over their quality”.

In the same post, Facebook also said:

“We're proposing to end the voting component of the process in favour of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement.”

Social media linked to psychotic episodes

New research from Tel Aviv University has found a link between Facebook and psychotic episodes. The paper, written by Dr Uri Nitzan, claims that users who have certain characteristics such as loneliness, technological naivety and vulnerability caused by the separation from or loss of a loved one can develop psychotic symptoms.

Social media allows us to connect to people worldwide and develop virtual relationships. Users demonstrating the aforementioned characteristics seek solace in social media and develop positive virtual relationships that then turn into negative feelings as the relationship develops. Dr Nitzan said:

“All of the patients developed psychotic symptoms related to the situation, including delusions regarding the person behind the screen and their connection through the computer.”

The paper highlights the need for emotional maturity in order to understand the true sentiment behind sent messages without being able to hear the inflection in someone’s voice or see the expression on their face.

Viral video

This video Dumb Ways to Die has had over 18 million views in just over a week. The cute animation demonstrates stupid ways that people have died, including a section on train safety. This viral video was created by Metro Trains in Melbourne, and we hope it achieves exactly what it set out to do.

Infographic time

I came across this infographic about social media in Iran. Being Iranian myself, I was interested in how the country was depicted as it is usually portrayed as a country a lot more repressed than it actually is. I think some people would be surprised to see such a high use of social media and possibly even technology.

Social media in Iran

Browse more data visualization.