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Essential Pittsburgh
5:00 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Analyzing Big Data Comes With Big Challenges

Credit Martin Gysler / Flickr

All those clicks, likes, and retweets you do on social media add up to a huge amount of data that can be worth millions to some companies.

But according to new research, actually using that data is easier said than done.

Derek Ruths, assistant professor of Computer Science at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec stresses that, at a general level, using social media data to predict behavior is challenging.

That's because data analysts are typically asked to study data for purposes different than what the data was originally intended for-- in effect, “trying to extract information that wasn’t intentionally put in there.”

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How We Grieve
7:33 am
Wed July 23, 2014

On Social Media, a New Way to Mourn the Loss of Loved Ones

Ginny Kleker (left) pictured with her mother Teresa Ferguson in 2006. Following Ginny's suicide in 2008, Ferguson said Facebook helped her cope with her daughter’s death.
Credit Courtesy photo

Teresa Ferguson was not on Facebook before October 2008. Now she finds it indispensable.

Ferguson uses the site to manage the Facebook page of her daughter Ginny Kleker, who after years of battling a deep depression, ended her life at age 31.

Shortly after her daughter’s death, Ferguson accessed Ginny’s Facebook profile and posted a soul-baring letter describing her daughter's vibrant personality and mental health struggles. She also shared her thoughts as a mother about Ginny's suicide.

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Online Safety
2:35 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

PA Attorney General and Facebook Join Forces for Online Safety

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has joined 18 other states and the social media site Facebook in an online safety campaign.  

The initiative is geared toward teenagers and their parents, but Assistant Press Secretary Lauren Bozart said Facebook users of any age should take care about what they post online.  

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