Twitter Inc (TWTR) Can Predict Post-Natal Depression: Microsoft Study


Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) posts can help you figure out weeks in advance if a pregnant woman will suffer from post-natal depression after the child birth. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) scientists have found that it is possible to identify which pregnant woman will struggle with motherhood by analyzing the language they use on Twitter, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Twitter Inc (TWTR) Can Predict Post-Natal Depression: Microsoft Study

How Twitter predicts post-natal depression

Researchers said that the algorithm they used for the study doesn’t depend on the mother’s posts and searches about pregnancy and her baby. Instead, it focuses on verbal cues that bring out her underlying anxiety or unhappiness. Negativity in the language, with increase use of ‘I’, disappointed, miserable, hate and other expletives indicate that the new mom is suffering from post-natal depression.

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Microsoft Research co-director Eric Horvitz said that his team observed multiple patterns in the language of post-natal depression victims. They tried to spot the trend before birth, and they were successful. As pregnant women become more self-focused, there is a rise in the use of first-person pronouns, suggesting depression.

Twitter can also predict general mood and mass protests

Researchers monitored the language, especially on social networks like Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), of hundreds of woman three months before childbirth and three months afterwards. They found that the same clues were present in about 80% cases of post-natal depression 2-3 weeks before the birth. The affected women had high levels of anxiety and anger, low levels of positivity, and they asked a lot more questions.

Horvitz said that a welfare group can design an app to identify the symptoms in advance and direct the new mothers toward help. Recently, Cornell University researchers found that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) can be used to predict the general mood of a specific population. According to MIT, the microblogging site can also help us predict mass protests and other big events.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares plunged 4.43% to $55.57 at 1:44 PM EST on Wednesday.

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