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'Switch off phones and social media' video goes viral

A video that calls on people to switch off their mobile phones and reduce their use of social media has gone viral. The five-minute film, called ‘Look Up’ was posted on YouTube on April 25 and already has more than 22 million views.

The film was created by Gary Turk who called it “a spoken word film for an online generation”. It aims to show how overusing phones and social media are having a negative effect on personal relationships.

Government 'to urge social networks to crack down'

Culture Secretary Maria Miller is to challenge social media companies "pro-actively" police their sites and remove offensive and dangerous posts, the Daily Mail reports.

It follows the death of 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson who threw herself in front of a train in 2012 after sharing self-harm images with her 18,000 followers on the Tumblr social network.

The Culture Secretary will unveil a new measure at this week's Cabinet meeting, the report says, and plans to confront internet companies at a conference in the next few weeks.

Facebook will lose 80% of users by 2017, study finds

Facebook has been described as an "infectious disease" that has spread rapidly but will die away just as quickly, in a new study from researchers at Princeton University that predicts the social media platform will be largely abandoned by 2017.

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Report authors John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler from the Ivy League university's mechanical and aerospace engineering department, have based their prediction on the number of times Facebook is typed into Google as a search term.

The charts produced by the Google Trends service show Facebook searches peaked in December 2012 and have since started to trail off.

"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models, " the authors claim in their paper, adding that Facebook will lose "80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017."

"Ideas are spread through communicative contact between different people who share ideas with each other. Idea manifesters ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of 'immunity' to the idea," said Cannarella and Spechler.

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