Kayla Williams has never said the word “suicide” on TikTok, even though she uses the platform to discuss mental health issues with her 80,000 followers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the 26-year-old student from Berkshire, England, has posted multiple videos about suicidal ideation and her stay in a psychiatric ward. Some of these clips are lighthearted, others far more serious. Yet Williams does not utter the word “suicide” to her front-facing camera, or type it in her captions, for fear the TikTok algorithm will censor or remove her content. Instead, she uses the word “unalive.” The hashtag #unalivemeplease has 9.2 million views on TikTok; #unaliving has 6.6 million; #unaliveawareness has an additional 2.2 million. Though #suicideprevention is a frequently used tag on the app, the hashtags #suicide and #suicideawareness do not exist—if you search for them, TikTok pulls up the number for a local crisis helpline. It’s a well-intentioned policy, initiated in September 2021 … [Read more...] about Are TikTok algorithms changing how people talk about suicide?
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Natural history’s golden age, when Charles Darwin and like-minded scientists pondered connections between creatures and their environments, largely revolved around collecting stuff. Explorers fanned out across the world and picked up as many plants and animals as they could, drying them or stuffing them or storing them in alcohol in small glass jars. They carried them home to grand museums where the public might get a peek at them and be amazed. These venerable collections can seem like relics today—musty storehouses, shrines to imperial plunder. But with billions of samples catalogued among them, museum collections are a treasure for modern evolutionary biologists studying DNA, RNA, proteins and other biomolecules. Sampling decades- or even centuries-old tissues allows scientists to capture snippets of genetic code from plants and animals—including extinct ones—and track molecular changes that took place long before biologists even understood what DNA was. Younger specimens are … [Read more...] about Mining museums’ genomic treasures
Polk County Florida Sheriff Grady Judd made clear his deputies are trained to take out attackers before they get inside schools and added, “We’ll shoot you graveyard dead.” Spectrum News reported that Judd was “mortified” by Tuesday’s Uvalde shooting. He put any would-be attackers thinking about targeting a Polk County school on notice: “If you come to a school in this county, armed, we’re going to do our best through either our guardians, our school resource officers, or our school resource deputy sheriffs to eliminate the threat outside of the school before they ever get to the children. We’re trained to do that.” Judd held up a photo that showed a deputy with a gun, then added, “This is the last thing you’ll see before we put a bullet through your head if you’re trying to hurt our children. We are going to shoot you graveyard dead if you come onto a campus, with a gun, threatening our children or shooting at us.” Florida adopted the guardian program following the February … [Read more...] about FL Sheriff to School Attackers: ‘We’ll Shoot You Graveyard Dead’