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An Analysis of Social Media Life Extension Advocacy


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⌛⇒ current fundraiser: B.A.S.E Victor @ OpenCures

#1 reason

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 12:48 PM


One of the younger initiatives here takes a look at discussions of longevity science and living longer on social media. While I don't disagree with the general thrust of the article, that social media is largely filled with less helpful chatter, I would argue that it is hard to demonstrate that the initial premise is correct, that there is any usefully direct link between social media and success in the sense of raising funding for the right lines of research and development. Money is the present key to progress in rejuvenation biotechnology, as funding is the present bottleneck, but we can debate the ways and degrees to which that is influenced by the flow of discussion. Following various initiatives for the past decade, one of the things that has stood out for me is the disconnect from month to month between how much discussion takes place in various forms of media and how much money is coming in via philanthropy. Only at longer time scales, comparing now with a few years ago, are there correlations between increased discussion and increased funding.

This research aims to evaluate the capacity of social media to support the development of science combating age related disease. The study will explore whether this particular area of science is benefiting from social media promotion and advocacy, or instead failing to inspire or achieve any of these things. Key to this is determining the percentage of facebook posts which offer legitimate information in relation to prolonging lifespan. The results were obtained by analysing a sample of 100 Facebook posts from each of the most popular (in terms of membership) facebook groups related specifically to life extension. Each post was categorised by purpose and topic, and then those intended to spread seemingly legitimate information were given a legitimacy ranking. From the results, it is clear that these posts, on the whole, are not acting to stimulate development or progress in this area of science. Of most concern was a lack of legitimacy and scientific evidence behind many posts on the subject of life extension. The research highlights a range of issues which, if not improved upon, represent a genuine obstacle for popularising and advancing science combating age-related disease.

14.71% of posts were raising awareness of a potential cure for aging or age-related disease, 2.55% were raising awareness of a potential cause for age-related disease, 17.59% were analysis/opinion on subjects related to life extension, 31.02% were general advocacy, 5.86% were related to fundraising, 1.06% promoted commercial ventures, and 27.18% had no identifiable purpose or were unrelated to life extension. Only 14.71% of all posts were related to potential cures, and 82.61% of these were suitable for the legitimacy scale. Of these, 0% were actual studies, 55.9% were links to an analysis of a study, and 22.81% were articles based on opinion rather than a scientific study. If we take a look at the overall picture of life extension on social media, taking into account all the data we have collected, only 26.4% of posts could be considered as scientifically informative. Of these, a tiny 1.21% could be considered as a top grade legitimate source.

This is concerning, as legitimate information about developments in science are integral to spreading awareness among the mainstream. Advocacy is clearly a double-edged sword, as even advocacy based on memes and images is positive for the overall picture. However, advocating posts based on memes, images, and promotion, seem to play a more self gratifying role, and offer little in terms of legitimising the cause, particularly to a mainstream audience. Above all else, although attempts to raise awareness and gain greater advocacy through social media are admirable, and absolutely essential to the cause, the results show that a great deal more caution, and in many cases vigilance needs to be exerted when sharing information.

Link: http://lifemag.org/a...on-social-media


View the full article at FightAging

#2 Mind

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 06:47 PM

My experience has been that social media is just about worthless for spreading the life extension meme. Ditto for raising funds.


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#3 Droplet

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 10:46 AM

I find that a lot of people won't even respond to anything life extension related if I share it. I tend to keep this sort of stuff and my private life separate although I do share some things that are pro life extension. Sadly, a lot of society don't want to acknowledge it still and are still deluding themselves that old age and death are inevitable. I do not hide that I support life extension but I wouldn't want to overshare it and annoy people either. I will happily discuss with whomever wishes to ask me about it. If you had mostly other people supporting this cause on your Facebook, you would probably get loads of likes and no one would bother that you shared things pertaining to it so much. However, that doesn't help to spread the word to the mainstream. Shame that we can't get someone to go on those reality shows that people seem to care so much about and bring it up.



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#4 Antonio2014

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:11 AM

Shame that we can't get someone to go on those reality shows that people seem to care so much about and bring it up.

Well, Aubrey has appeared in TIME magazine, CNN and elsewhere, and still SENS fundraising is small. I don't think that appearing in a reality show would change that much.



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#5 Droplet

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 11:14 AM

Well, Aubrey has appeared in TIME magazine, CNN and elsewhere, and still SENS fundraising is small. I don't think that appearing in a reality show would change that much.

 

 

I disagree. TIME and CNN don't get talked about like Big Brother, X Factor and whatever else is big out there these days. I know that amongst my work colleagues and the people I know online, reality TV is very popular and talked about daily. Maybe its just the sorts of people I know but I overhear conversations about such things even when out and about. I don't watch any of them but they really seem to keep people's attention.






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