Researchers found a way to spot depression on Instagram

A team of researchers at Harvard University’s Department of Psychology and the University of Vermont have found a way to spot if you’re depressed.

As published in EPJ Data Science, researchers dug into 43,950 Instagram photos of 166 participants and analyzed all sorts of posts.

According to the study, it was found that users with depression either utilized a particular photo filter like the black-and-white ones or none at all.

Additionally, depressed users were more likely than their counterparts to receive fewer likes and shares due to the color scheme of their posts, most notably blue, gray, and dark photo filter colors, according to Fortune.

Also based on the tool researchers built, they were able to successfully identify if a user was depressed in over 70% of their participants, more than by physicians. Moreover, the study also led researchers to believe that fewer faces per photo were an indication of a mental illness like depression.

“Paired with a commensurate focus on upholding data privacy and ethical analytics, the present work may serve as a blueprint for effective mental health screening in an increasingly digitalized society. More generally, these findings support the notion that major changes in individual psychology are transmitted in social media use, and can be identified via computational methods,” the study concluded.

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