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One language is not another

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Weare.care for child and adolescent mental health.

We can and must promote change. We already did. It's very very real.

The whole #What5words mental health campaign, however, is just me. It's full of linguistic metaphor, that perhaps really I can see. For example, the phone number at iappear.today - is a metaphor itself, it is "Norway's Akurzhus Fortress, we are calling 000 (the Australian verson of 911) from Bahrain." I have got the occasional phone call from India or Algeria, which I consider answering, but then leave for the moment.

It also is very subtle, radically centrist philosophy, to address this worldwide crisis together, as we already were doing. As your esteemed contributor Thom Hartmann, and Sir Nick Clegg, know, as do many other people, we have to return to the centre to achieve anything in 2018.

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My startup company, What5words Tapui Limited, and Facebook are engaged, about trying to change Facebook. Seis.me - and Facebook - in the first few days of the Kickstarter campaign.

The apolitical @Whatfivewords campaign in November was kindly refunded by Facebook, upon reflection. @Whatfivewords is a community, it is not my business. Facebook didn't tell me exactly why, but I hope its because they can see it may use their products to promote mental-health awareness. Perhaps eventually where it might be needed, rather than just where I emotionally suspected it might be, from my worldwide travels.

My art may have helped a little; it also may have harmed. The community helps me, as I show them what engaged me in the real world, rather than my screens. But they're over there; I really don't know what they see. It had a unique strategy based on the original targeting settings that I carefully readjusted twice daily, or more, in November to attempt to avoid any kind of unintended consequence. This technique itself appears to have Facebook's full attention and permission to use their products to warn about their products, all over the world.

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This, I believe is because there usually unintended consequences of publishing anything on the internet. What5words Tapui Limited, and What5words Ltd. (Bulgaria), at the moment, is literally just me, as I became a startup, initially just trying to promote our children's picture book and magazine.

The links from our Facebook page from the December campaign link to Pinterest, and then finally note and promote awareness of social media addiction. It is very, very real, and it's rapidly developing neuroscience. It is not so controversial any more - I lived it and I'm a medical doctor. Experts all over the world are concerned and have been working for many years on this. Until I wrote that poem, none of my team, or me, had even thought of it. We now all agree. They also agree that this whole thing, at the very least, is extremely interesting. Once I realised, life felt real again for me, for the first time in years. The crisis appears to be a quite overwhelming, but together, we have cared, and we can continue to care - in as many ways as we know how.

Facebook, being the large corporation that they are, have seen me at least a little. I don't know exactly why they suspended the campaign with no reason stated other than a thorough review by the policy department, with no right to appeal. I have no idea why they refunded the whole thing within days and then allowed it to continue without advising me why. I really hope it's because they saw that I'm trying very hard to help them help us. I have been the whole time.

Facebook have a lot of work to do, amongst the many crises at least partially attributable to their algorithms. I have directly suggested to them that they employ anthropologists, psychologists and psychiatrists in many fields all across the world to analyse what may be wrong with their systems and governance processes. Their artificial intelligence may already know more about our psychology than our experts do, if it's interpreted very carefully. They have to do this, for our children's sake - Mr Zuckerberg is not king.

On my end though, I feel this concept could be nothing - it might have just been for me, and I really do thank the Facebook community for that. On the other, more unlikely hand, it may be important, it may be "#thebandaid" I'm trying to make it be. Music, and art, are like Band-Aids. Our emotions come from our perceptions of reality. My art is not important, nowhere near as important as other people's. It's all intended to observe beauty in pain - reality in technology. If you feel your art can speak to people "over there" - can we try together? I need your help, your backing, as I do this.

I would respectfully like to request any of those in any indigenous community across the world if they would like to engage with me, if they consider carefully what I am doing. It is often those most excluded or marginalised from society that need these thoughts the most.

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The world is thinking about this crisis together, thinking of new things together. We are here.

(Article changed on December 11, 2018 at 09:00)

 

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Peter is a medical registrar in Melbourne, Australia, with experience and interests in Infectious Diseases and Addiction Medicine. He is currently completing a Masters of Science (Infectious Diseases) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical (more...)
 

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