Dangers hidden in hashtags

First, what is a hashtag? Google defines it as, “(on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.”

I saw this article on Yahoo today and realized this was just another thing that parents should stay up on.  A link to the full article can be found below this text…

“When it comes to what’s known as non-suicidal self-injury – cutting, burning and scratching done with damage rather than death in mind – teens can be quite crafty at deploying hashtags that mask their activities, evade content safeguards and advisory warnings, and make it much harder for parents to monitor their virtual lives.

“The online communities that develop around these hashtags can draw in adolescents and provide them a strong sense of belonging and support that is centered on these unhealthy behaviors,” said lead study author Dr. Megan Moreno, a specialist in adolescent medicine at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

“This can make recovery from these behaviors more challenging,” Moreno added by email.

Moreno and colleagues used the search term #selfharmmm to identify public posts on the social media platform Instagram, a photo-sharing service popular with teens, that related to destructive habits like cutting and burning.

Then, they used the search results to identify a list of ambiguous hashtags such as #blithe, #MySecretFamily and #SecretSociety123 that were tied to the same dangerous behaviors.

Other hashtags related to mental health conditions through use of common names, such as #Deb for depression, #Annie for anxiety, and #Olive for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The number of search results for self-harm hashtags was high and grew over time.

The broad term #cat, which refers to cutting, had more than 44 million search results in 2014 and more than 56 million in 2015, the study team reports in the Journal of Adolescent Health.”

See Full Article on Yahoo

2016-10-25T14:56:33+00:00December 18th, 2015|

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