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Facebook Knows If You're Gay, Use Drugs, Or Are a Republican

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the you-are-what-you-like dept.

Facebook 473

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Not that there's anything wrong with that — as the Guardian reports that Facebook users are unwittingly revealing their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs– using only public 'like' updates. A study of 58,000 Facebook users in the US found that sensitive personal characteristics about people can be accurately inferred from information in the public domain. Researchers were able to accurately infer a Facebook user's race, IQ, sexuality, substance use, personality or political views (PDF) using only a record of the subjects and items they had 'liked' on Facebook – even if users had chosen not to reveal that information. 'It is good that people's behavior is predictable because it means Facebook can suggest very good stories on your news feed,' says Michal Kosinski, 'But what is shocking is that you can use the same data to predict your political views or your sexual orientation. This is something most people don't realize you can do.' For example, researchers were able to predict whether men were homosexual with 88% accuracy by their likes of Facebook pages such as 'Human Rights Campaign' and 'Wicked the Musical' – even if those users had not explicitly shared their sexuality on the site. According to the study other personality traits linked to predictive likes include for High IQ — 'The Godfather,' 'Lord of the Rings,' 'The Daily Show'; for Low IQ — 'Harley Davidson,' 'I Love Being A Mom,' 'Tyler Perry'; and for male heterosexuality — 'Wu Tang Clan,' 'Shaq,' and 'Being Confused after Waking Up from Naps.' Facebook's default privacy settings mean that your 'likes' are public to anyone and Facebook's own algorithms already use these likes to dictate what stories end up in users' news feeds, while advertisers can access them to determine which are the most effective ads to show you as you browse."

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473 comments

Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143271)

FB incorrectly presumes that I am not str8 and like MJ, when I happen to be str8 and don't use MJ.

I just like Freedom.

All your analysis of Like proves is that you don't get how people work.

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (5, Insightful)

UneducatedSixpack (2829861) | about a year ago | (#43143371)

One day you will "like" something wrong...

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43143455)

Which is why I hit the "like" button for EVERYTHING!!!!!

FYI, I wouldn't recommend drinking from that well, considering how much I piss in it.

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year ago | (#43143749)

You and me both, I've convinced Google that I'm a gay male yoga instructor.

Also, I've been shaving since 2004.

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43143797)

How does gay male yoga differ from normal yoga?

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (4, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | about a year ago | (#43143401)

I figure over-reliance on this sort of analysis explains why Facebook will show me ads for dating services even though it knows I'm married. I like all this geeky stuff, so obviously the advertisers assume I'm single.

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (4, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43143573)

I figure over-reliance on this sort of analysis explains why Facebook will show me ads for dating services even though it knows I'm married. I like all this geeky stuff, so obviously the advertisers assume I'm single.

That is of course one possible explanation... try again.

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143609)

All your analysis of Like proves is that you don't get how people work.

Excellent. I've identified another strong signal for low IQ - upvoting your post.

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (3, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | about a year ago | (#43143633)

Your analysis of their analysis proves that you can't analyze analyses. Being right 88% of the time means being wrong 12% of the time. It's not special that they aren't right for you.

Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (2)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | about a year ago | (#43143849)

This actually raises interesting questions about stereotypes and whether or not they are true, which I think would be a bane in the opinion of most minority groups. Stereotypes, after all, are just statistical observations. This study would seem to provide significant evidence to support stereotypes, and I think that's even more impactful on society than any privacy concerns you may have about how your public actions (in this case, 'Liking' on Facebook) portray your personal beliefs.

Also (4, Insightful)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#43143285)

You can tell that just by talking to people.

Re:Also (4, Insightful)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#43143301)

and i'm pretty sure your credit card companies already knows these things just from your purchase habits.

Facebook knows that I like fisting? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143287)

And now slashdot does too!!!

My first contact with fisting was, of course, in San Francisco. I was out on the coast for a round of job interviews in the Bar area. My fluffy-sweater acquaintances in Cincinnati had scoped out the territory the previous summer and were full of dire warnings about South of Market in general and The Hothouse in particular, so of course that was the first place I headed. Now, fisting wasn't exactly a deep, dark mystery to me...somewhere along the line I had acquired the book from the movie classic "Erotic Hands" and I'd been jerking off to that for quite a while. You might say I was into the concept if not the reality.

Well, The Hothouse was everything I had been warned it was...humpy dudes wandering around in body harnesses leading their slaves on leashes, the whole trip. I nearly came when I walked into the shower room hunkered down on a plastic hose while he sucked his buddy's oversize cock. I checked out the sling rooms, but I spent most of the night doing conventional if rougher-than-usual sex.

I fell asleep with my door cracked. The next morning I woke up with this warm, wet feeling on my arm. I looked up and there was this hairy, muscular little dude impaled on my arm to the elbow! Holy shit! He looked down at me and grinned "Good morning" "Good morning yourself fucker." " Can you dig it!" "For sure, but I've never done it before" Well, that turned his motor on, and soon became oblivious that he wasn't gonna dismount my arm until he had showed me all the right moves. We ended up with me punch-fucking him doggy--style with a cheering audience of six or seven leathermen. Well, my arm was busy most of the morning, but my asshole stayed virgin.

I sorta filed the experience away and chewed on it until my next trip to the coast. I only knew one dude in Cincinnati that was into handball, and we were friends, not fuck-buddies, so I didn't get a chance to practice again until another job interview took me to San Diego. The job panned out. and I moved to California.

Now, you have to understand where I was coming from. Cincinnati is one of the most tight-assed Republican cities in the Midwest. There was one gay bar and no baths. If you wanted steam you had to drive to Cleveland, Toledo or Chicago. So the first couple of years in San Diego I was like a kid in a candy shop...baths, bars, and Balboa Park!

I fisted if I was asked, and if I was in a "top" mood I got off on it to a certain extent, but something was missing. What that "something" was I found out one night at the old Fourth Avenue Baths in Hillcrest. I was cruising the "open" rooms and came across this hot little blond surfer-type. We started getting it on, and our hands both started to go for the ass about the same time, so he called a halt to go fetch the Crisco and poppers. Now, fisting wasn't particularly on my mind...I figured we'd trade fucks and that would be that. How was I to know that gay surfers in San Diego get into handball?

Well. pretty soon we were pretty busy finger-fucking each other while we sixty-nined. Then he called a halt and sat up and looked at me. "Wanna go further?" "As in what?" "Fisting, man." "You or me?" "Whatever," he muttered. "Well, I've never had it, but I'm up for trying." Bingo! The idea of a virgin really pushed his button, so pretty soon I'm on my back with my ass propped up on a pillow and him sitting cross-legged below me.

"Your head's gonna get it done for you" he told me. "You gotta want me inside you. It's just like takin' a big cock. It'll hurt like hell goin' over the widest part of my knuckles, but then once it's inside you're gonna lose your mind!" Well, we had smoked a couple of joints and I was pretty mellowed out and the dude wasn't tryin' to hurry me. We rapped about all kinds of shit, but all the time there was this gentle but insistent pressure at my asshole. "How much you got in?" I'd ask him from time to time but he wouldn't tell me. "Don't worry about it...just relax and enjoy."

I kept playin' with my cock and that made my ass tighten up, so he pulled the laces from his boot and tied my hands behind my head so I couldn't jack off. Now I don't usually do bondage with a stranger, but we were really into each other's heads by now, and I figured what the shit, my legs were still free to kick if he got radical.

We kept on like this for about an hour...then he looked me in the eye and said, "Pull your knees back to your tits." "is this it, man? I'm not sure I'm ready." "You're ready...your fuckin' ass is just beggin' for my hand. Cummon, pull 'em back." He got up on his knees and started pushing my legs down with his chest until his face was right over mine. "Common, man, take my fuckin' fist. You can do it!" He shoved a popper under my nose and my ass caught fire! One fiery bolt of pain and he was in! The fucker had his goddamned fist up my butt. "Slow deep breaths, man...take slow, deep breaths. Get used to it, then we'll play." Now I was leakin' gum like a firehose by this point. I couldn't imagine it getting any more intense/painful/better, but it did. He gave me a few minutes to calm down, then he shoved the popper under my nose again and started to make a fist inside me. "AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH! Take it easy man!" "Just makin' the fist, dude. Now I'm gonna do a little twistin'." "Well, he did a little twistin' and I did a lot of twistin' and yellin', but he just kept at it, slow and steady. I drifted into a semi-trance impaled on this hot little dude's hand. Experienced bottoms say that there's a good deal of yoga and meditation involved...now I understood what they meant.

He looked down at me and grinned. "REady for a little depth?" "You're running this trip, man. You got me fuckin' tied up and held down so I can't move anything but my eyelashes. Guess if you wanna go for dept I'm gonna have to go along! "Fuckin'-A-right! You just slide down on my arm fucker. We're gonna go for the elbow!" Now, that might sound a little bit radical for the first time, but once he'd gotten in past the knuckles it was a matter of degree. Actually, his outstretched hand and forearm was easier to take than the clenched rotating fist. "Can you sit up?" he asked me after awhile. "If you help me" "I want you to see, man. You've got my fuckin' arm up to the elbow!" I didn't believe him, but he pulled me up until I was bent like a pretzel and I could see my red, tautly-stretched asshole around the beginning of his muscular bicep. "I gotta cum, man," I moaned. "I gotta cum so fuckin' gad!" "Oh, yeah, shoot your fuckin' load! Cummon, motherfucker, shoot it!!" He was givin' me long, slow strokes with his arm...all the was out to the wrist and then all the way back to the elbow! He grabbed my cock and it was all over. I must have shot for five minutes! The first load landed on the wall over my head. "YYYYEEEOOWWW! OK. OK, ease out, man,ease out! He slowly withdrew his arm and we collapsed.

"Like it?" he grinned. "Like it! Jesus, I loved it! You have great hands man." "You might be sore for a day or two." "That's cool." "Wanna do me?" "As soon as I catch my breath." We stretched out and dozed for awhile then I started to get itchy to get into his ass. It only took him about half and hour...he was experienced, but I have fairly big hands. He started to get a little worried, though, when I started sneakin' a couple of extra fingers up along side my hand. "Hey, uh, I don't think I can take much more." "First time for everything, dude." I chuckled. "Yeah, well, I guess, only go easy, man, OK?" "No problem...just relax and enjoy." Well, about another fifteen minutes I was shakin' hands with myself inside this dude's steaming hole, and it was his turn to beg. "Oh Christ, let me cum, please! Jack me off, man. I gotta cum!" Well, that presented a problem since both my hands were busy, so I took his aching cock in my mouth. He arched his back and his asshole tightened around my wrists until I thought they were gonna break. He shot so hard I thought I was gonna drown! "JJJJJEEEEESSSSSUUUUUSSS! Take it out...please take it out!" I slowly pulled one hand after the other out of his exhausted hole. We staggered to the showers and soaped each other down, and then we crashed. We exchanged phone numbers and played a couple of times after that, either at the baths or at the FFA parties. I lost track of him, and the Fourth Avenue Baths closed down, but I'll never forget him.

Re:Facebook knows that I like fisting? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143459)

And Slashdot can now think it knows for everyone else based on whether they clicked "Read the rest of this comment..."

Re:Facebook knows that I like fisting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143511)

I'm just glad they can't detect sperm on my keyboard.

And if you're a gay drug using Republican (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143291)

They have a job for you at Facebook.

Turns out (5, Funny)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43143297)

Turns out, I'm gay. Even Facebook knew it before I did.

Re:Turns out (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143357)

*phew* close call, you could have been a republican!

Re:Turns out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143627)

By process of elimination you're both high.

Re:Turns out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143669)

It's holding that part back. Does not want to devastate him

Re:Turns out (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | about a year ago | (#43143657)

Funny, but it does make me wonder. While I'm not gay, I do tend to like statuses and pages that have to do with gay rights, and several of my friends on Facebook are gay, yet I still see ads all the time for single ladies in my area. It makes me wonder: 1) Has Facebook accurately pegged me as straight (or bisexual) even though I haven't given it any direct indication of what I am, 2) has Facebook not made the connection and/or advertisers don't care, just spamming their ads to all males, or 3) is Facebook using some other algorithm that happens to be accurate for me, but generally less accurate for the population as a whole? Personally, I think #2 is correct.

I'd like to see a page about me that says, "Here's the information you've provided, and here's the information we're inferring from what we know about you." I suppose they'd never do that because it might very well creep people out too much, but then, it might get people whose inferences are wrong to directly supply the information to them.

Re:Turns out (5, Interesting)

246o1 (914193) | about a year ago | (#43143731)

I'd like to see a page about me that says, "Here's the information you've provided, and here's the information we're inferring from what we know about you." I suppose they'd never do that because it might very well creep people out too much, but then, it might get people whose inferences are wrong to directly supply the information to them.

BlueKai does something similar (except it's for a wide range of display advertising, not just facebook) - they infer things about you based on your browsing history and use that to target ads at you. They are all over the web, so they have a good amount of information, but the surprising thing to me is that they let you look at your profile on their website - http://www.bluekai.com/registry/ [bluekai.com] is the place to find it.

I don't work for BlueKai, or even for a company that uses them.

In other news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143307)

...stereotypes happen for a reason?

But (5, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year ago | (#43143311)

The highest intelligence indicator were the users who ignored everything, revealed very little and never "liked" anything - knowing that anything they did on facebook would be mined and used for metrics and marketing.

Re:But (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143343)

Not Intelligent, just paranoid. Kinda like posting anonymously on Slashdot.

Re:But (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143503)

There's no intelligence left on facebook. I routinely campaign for my co-habitating "things" (Do I call them human?) to not use facebook and delete their profiles, stop playing their dumb-ass facebook games and start getting "involved in their economy and government".

They facebook, smoke, drink, and whine about how the government and corporate monopolies are oppressive, rather then considering doing anything about it. They also pretend to garden. Which is ironic because they would starve if walmart and publix did not exist.

They also procreated.

I bet you can deduce a lot from what I have to say. But humans are a dumb species in general. I have met smarter animals, usually large predators that don't hang out near people in plain site are smarter then most people.

Re:But (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143599)

Your little rant would have more weight if you had bothered to spell "sight" correctly... Or "than"...

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143625)

Spelling is for stupids. LOL. Do you sincerely waste all your conscious cycles on precision communication when just ranting on the internet trying to troll for a good reaction?

Lol captcha = populate

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143375)

The highest intelligence indicator were the users who ignored everything, revealed very little and never "liked" anything - knowing that anything they did on facebook would be mined and used for metrics and marketing.

It would be interesting to see the correlation on that. I know that geeks who choose to ignore Facebook (or social gatherings all around) think that it is an high intelligence indicator, but the facts might surprise.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143547)

Your confusing intelligence with emotional intelligence or whatever you want to call it. People who are smart usually have a low emotional IQ, but thats not necessarily true.

People with good people skills usually are dumber then average because its a natural reaction to their in-ability to survive and be assholes at the same time.

Re:But (4, Insightful)

dwywit (1109409) | about a year ago | (#43143389)

Wouldn't the "highest intelligence indicator" be applied to those who don't "do" facebook, twitter, etc?
 
Or did I just miss something flying over my head?

Re:But (5, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#43143449)

Wouldn't the "highest intelligence indicator" be applied to those who don't "do" facebook, twitter, etc?

Or did I just miss something flying over my head?

You aren't missing it, but aren't seeing the totality of Facebook's insidious nature. Now not having a Facebook account is treated by HR departments as suspicious behavior. Also, Facebook made it easy for people to "tag" you - if you don't have an account, you can't repudiate it (or prevent tagging by default). You are literally forced to play their game unless you want your good name being abused. So best move is to have one that's effectively empty, and turn all privacy settings down to the most private.

Of course this defeats the purpose of having a Facebook account - but that's the purpose, right?

Re:But (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143651)

Now not having a Facebook account is treated by HR departments as suspicious behavior.

Frankly, any HR department that really thinks this can go fuck itself with an iron stick.

I think this is a myth the media is pushing to try to get more people on Facebook.

Re:But (3, Interesting)

GumphMaster (772693) | about a year ago | (#43143821)

Now not having a Facebook account is treated by HR departments as suspicious behavior.

This, I fear, is quite believable given some of the looks of incredulity I have had when asked by HR for my mobile (cell, for our American brethren) number. I politely decline on the grounds that I neither own nor want a mobile phone. One HR drone even accused me of being dishonest because it was so far beyond her youthful experience as to be unbelievable that one could survive without a mobile. Heck, our home phone when I was a child was made of bakelite and had a handle on the front you turned vigorously to get the operator's attention: our complete phone number was "78". (For the record I am only 45.)

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143469)

Wouldn't the "highest intelligence indicator" be applied to those who don't "do" facebook, twitter, etc? Or did I just miss something flying over my head?

Well, you obviously miss the social networks flying over your head. If they are not for you, great, but equating your choice with greater intelligence is kind of condescending isn't it?

Re:But (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43143519)

in other news my 3 other personalities are super intelligent, because they've never liked a single thing or shared even a real seeming name on fb.

stupid study all and all. of course you can make an educated guess that someone who has twenty likes for different marijuana pages might think that marijuana is cool and if he's a male and has marked himself as seeking men and has attended the gayfest2012 at bar supergay then maybe, just maybe, he's gay. or someone has been fucking around with his computer. or you can try to guess it from liking my little pony but that type of likes don't really end up telling much.

but if you never reveal anything, never show support for anything - what's the point in having an online presence? is this really taking the never talk to the cops video to the extreme? never talk to anyone publicly on record? never sign a petition for anything? HOW FUCKING FUCKED UP ARE AMERICANS TODAY?

Re:But (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43143723)

but if you never reveal anything, never show support for anything - what's the point in having an online presence? is this really taking the never talk to the cops video to the extreme? never talk to anyone publicly on record? never sign a petition for anything? HOW FUCKING FUCKED UP ARE AMERICANS TODAY?

Facebook invitations is the only reason I care to have a profile there. If you want to get to know me, get to know me don't be a Facebook stalker. At least there's nothing I feel like broadcasting to all the "friends" I have there, nor does 99.9% of what shows up there interest me. I could go through it I suppose and hide everything but the people I actually care about hearing something from it's always awkward if you're on Facebook and didn't see some major event a semi-close friend posted because you've hidden them. My profile is a wasteland, I never post status updates and I never comment or like anything anyone else wrote so if anybody asks, no I don't read your (or anybody else's Facebook).

Re:But (2, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#43143611)

The highest intelligence indicator were the people who never joined facebook and want nothing to do with it.

However, people with the lowest IQ who cannot learn to operate a computer or a phone also were not able to join Facebook.

Re:But (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | about a year ago | (#43143645)

I have a feeling that if you actually mined that information by taking a survey of people who don't use facebook, that the results would not be that.

Intelligent people can calculate the risk-benefit radio of sharing information vs receiving information. Intelligent people can recognize the value of keeping up with things (both in cyberspace and meatspace). Intelligent people know how to effectively use technological tools to get more out of an equivalent investment of time in their social lives.

Re:But (3, Funny)

joelleo (900926) | about a year ago | (#43143823)

I wish _I_ had a risk-benefit radio :( All I have are these stoopid actuarial tables :(

If you use Facebook you are probably on drugs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143319)

Next headline "Slashdot Knows If You Have Higher Education, Neuroses, Porn On Your Computer"

"Facebook knows if you're Republican" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143323)

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Re:"Facebook knows if you're Republican" (1, Insightful)

stillpixel (1575443) | about a year ago | (#43143811)

nothing wrong with being batshit crazy.. nope not at all.

Cultural bias much? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year ago | (#43143325)

What the hell do any of those listed have to do with male heterosexuality? All it shows is that you are an American with narcolepsy. Shouldn't they be looking for likes of certain types of pictures and jokes?

Re:Cultural bias much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143435)

What the hell do any of those listed have to do with male heterosexuality? All it shows is that you are an American with narcolepsy. Shouldn't they be looking for likes of certain types of pictures and jokes?

They are looking for signals documented across a sample population, not stereotype indicators. The signal for being gay might as well be that you like blue cars, skiing and basketball, in combination, if that is what the statistics show. The signals doesn't necessarily have any obvious meanings in themselves.

Re:Cultural bias much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143527)

They are looking for signals documented across a sample population, not stereotype indicators. The signal for being gay might as well be that you like blue cars, skiing and basketball, in combination, if that is what the statistics show. The signals doesn't necessarily have any obvious meanings in themselves.

The signal for being gay is using marketfag words like "signals".

Re:Cultural bias much? (2)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43143505)

Hence the 12% error rate. This is a game or a means to allow advertisers to target users. It is really no different that assuming your status based on the neighborhood you live in. Or your intentions based on the bars you visit. I pretty much know if you gay, a frat boy, looking for rich husband, based on what I bar I see you in.

Re:Cultural bias much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143521)

What do they or why? Who the hell knows other than the data mining tool unless some psych/marketing person wants to try to interpret the individual factors (and thus start the cultural wars). The computer just sees the data, it doesn't understand any cultural bias in an of itself.

Ugh, Facebook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143329)

This is yet another reason to avoid Facebook.

Ask Tivo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143331)

How does it know you're gay? Easy - it just asks your Tivo [wsj.com] . Pervert.

So common steretypes are pretty true most of the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143345)

time. Exciting findings.

And all this from someone's Feed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143349)

"We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck."

UnWits! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143351)

Whether the average Facebook user (a nice new metric for sociologists everywhere) understands what the knowledge in Facebook's database may be used for is a new question. One that evolves with market opportunity. I wonder if the graph interface could be used to measure the level of concern or ignorance within the community of FacedBookers toward such political issues as privacy?

The illusion of privacy is dead. Long live the illusion of privacy.

I wonder... (4, Funny)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#43143363)

if that "Honey-Boo-Boo like" on Facebook will lower my IQ score...

Re:I wonder... (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#43143555)

Liking anything on the former "The Learning Channel" is indisputable proof that your IQ can't go any lower. The fact that you make that liking visible in Facebook doesn't change that one way or the other.

The "know" absolutely nothing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143373)

I love Lord of the Rings AND Harleys, hate rap in general, believe in human rights, and enjoy the hell out of productions like Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. So am I an intelligent homosexual male? A dumbass straight male? A dumbass homosexual male? Or an intelligent straight male?

But you know what? FB can presume all they want on their own time. The second they start using stats like this to say they KNOW someone is in one category or the other and make that information publically available, is the second they open themselves up libel suits for the 22% who are incorrectly flagged as idiots, gay, or whatever and it affects their life in any way.

Then again, shit like this is why I never "like" any brands or companies on FB. Fuck that noise.

Re:The "know" absolutely nothing. (1)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#43143619)

They don't care what you love or not. They care what you "Like" on Facebook. Big difference there.

Re:The "know" absolutely nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143775)

The data indicates that you're a dumbass white metrosexual male.

Similar to Winning Bid on Netflix (2)

Araes (1177047) | about a year ago | (#43143383)

Uses a similar methodology (SVD, which was the highest scoring method in isolation) to correlate Likes with Traits, whereas Netflix used prior movie Likes to correlate with future movie Likes. Effectively, Netflix's competition was probably correlating with a hidden indicator or personality subtype set which corresponded strongly to likes of particular movies.

It is highly likely that were they to apply the winning method from the Netflix competition (SVD paired with a weighted set of other indicators) that they would probably show even higher correlation and predictive power for personality subtypes.

Facebook Determines This For Non-Members As Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143393)

Most people don;t realize that Facebook has become as big a threat as Google in the privacy game.

Those like buttons on so very many pages on the net report back to Facebook everytime the page is loaded. At an absolute minimum, Facebook is notified of your IP address when you visit the page, even if you are not a Facebook member and even if you have NEVER visited Facebook. Yet, they still are able to track interests and activities including where and when your IP address visit pages on the internet.

Any time you see a like button, Facebook already logged your visit. You do NOT need to click it.

And if you do have a facebook account and you are logged in, then they knwo even more about who you are and what you do across the WWW.

Re:Facebook Determines This For Non-Members As Wel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143447)

NoScript
/rant

Re:Facebook Determines This For Non-Members As Wel (1)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#43143473)

Which is why you need to have noscript or face-blockers to read the net.
Of course this assumes that Disqus, Intensedebate or other forum software aren't as insidious/snooping.

or all three! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143395)

yes, gay drug addict republicans, facebook is out to get you!

How many gay drug-using Republicans are there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143399)

From what I've heard from Fox News, everyone gay or who uses drugs is a Democrat. Oh, and everyone on welfare or any sort of gov't assistance is an Obama-backer according to Romney. In fact, most welfare recipients are drug-using Obama supporters who need to be drug tested and kicked off of suckling at the gov'ts teats from the GOP official stance.

Lost all credibility (0)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#43143405)

<quote>... High IQ &mdash; ... <b>'The Daily Show'</b> ...</quote>

Fail!

Re:Lost all credibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143831)

your inability to use HTML and Unicode correctly along with your use of "fail" tells us that you have a low IQ

you have bad karma because you are dumbass on a site for smart people

Been there done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143415)

Haven't we been down this road a few [slashdot.org] times [slashdot.org] already?

Facebook (1, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | about a year ago | (#43143417)

I love stories like this. As if I needed any more, but this is just yet another reason why I am so glad I removed my Facebook account years ago.

Why people will happily hand over the intimate details of their lives, in the face of dozens of horrifying Facebook privacy stories, ill never know.
I guess Facebook users are like battered wives. They get their teeth kicked in by the abusive BF time after time, but wont leave him because 'they still love him'.

Re:Facebook (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about a year ago | (#43143463)

Newsflash - nobody cares about you. No black helicopters out there, son.

Liking Wicked the Musical == Gay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143425)

I'm male, and I liked Wicked. My being gay is going to be a shock to both my wife and my husband.

You know how I know you're gay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143491)

Because you Googled "shower squeegee."

Gaydar (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143453)

Similar research conducted by MIT student project back in 2009. See http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2611/2302. Surprised it wasn't cited.

Base rates (5, Insightful)

Jon Willits (2863101) | about a year ago | (#43143457)

I can do better than 88% accuracy at guessing if people are homosexual by guessing "no" every time.

cultural (3, Insightful)

MavEtJu (241979) | about a year ago | (#43143465)

the researchers found that users who "like" "Thunderstorms," "The Colbert Report," "Science" or "Curly Fries" are all slightly more likely to have high IQ than those who don't.

And it rated for people not living in heavily American culturally influenced and non native English speaking countries that they all had a lower IQ.

Here's a question (3, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43143493)

So facebook knows all sorts of things about people.

Here's a question: Does facebook know if you're guilty?

Re:Here's a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143707)

Yes, we know all about "that," "Mr. Warrior." Next time we need a quarterly earnings boost, we'll offer you the chance to bid against certain of our "affiliates" to see who is willing to pay most to learn certain "information" about your habits.

Thus why I never click those "like" buttons (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143513)

Not on pages, not on friends' comments, not on all the My Little Pony pictures I post.

Inaccurate title yet again. (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43143515)

"Facebook Has Information That Can Infer If You're Gay, Use Drugs, Or Are a Republican"
Researchers, who crunch data found on Facebook, can infer traits to an accuracy of as much as 88% in one instance.

Re:Inaccurate title yet again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143613)

What would make your suggested title even more accurate would be knowing the difference between "infer" and "imply."

Re:Inaccurate title yet again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143649)

Yes but the guy who wrote the title 'knows' that.

How to sound smart with stats (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143525)

whether men were homosexual with 88% accuracy

You can achieve this by guessing that 100% of men are heterosexual.

FAIL (1)

illestov (945762) | about a year ago | (#43143549)

I ran this article through my data analysis software , turns out the people behind this research have a 95% chance of being gay republicans drug users.

..

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." - Douglas Adams

Kind of obvious (1)

Alioth (221270) | about a year ago | (#43143551)

This is not shocking, it's kind of obvious. And in other news, bears shit in woods.

But... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143557)

It says more about the author that they'd group homosexuality, drug use, and republicanism together as "dirty secrets". So much for tolerance.

Not that there's anything wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143561)

Not that there's anything wrong with that

Yes, there is. Nobody gives a shit if you're gay or do drugs, but if they find out you're a closet Republican then you're in for some well-deserved bullying!

If Facebook knows that... (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | about a year ago | (#43143571)

...imagine what Reddit knows. /shudders/

Re:If Facebook knows that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143689)

...imagine what Reddit knows. /shudders/

That if you put long lists of links in front of bored people, they will click just about anything?

Party Affiliation is Public Record (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143575)

Political party affiliation is public record. Anyone can find out, There isn't any secretive voodoo to it.

Screw with the Algorithm (3, Funny)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about a year ago | (#43143597)

I left the TV on when I fell asleep, so I was confused when I woke up from my nap to discover Tyler Perry talking about The Lord of the Rings on the Daily Show. If I was that rich I would just buy a really Wicked Harley Davidson.

69 % Accuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143607)

Facebook can predict your sexuality with 69% accuracy.

88% accurate? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143661)

Given that less than 10% of the population identifies themselves as being gay, an algorithm that assumed everyone were heterosexual would beat that 88% accuracy figure easily. Some of the other analysis done may have merit, but that headline fail is not.

Re:88% accurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143789)

Given that less than 10% of the population identifies themselves as being gay, an algorithm that assumed everyone were heterosexual would beat that 88% accuracy figure easily. Some of the other analysis done may have merit, but that headline fail is not.

What they are saying is that out of those 10% they can predict 88% correctly.

I predict you're too dumb to be gay.

88% accurate (1)

CncRobot (2849261) | about a year ago | (#43143663)

Facebook guesses if your are hetrosexual or homosexual 88% of the time? I can beat that.
Whoever is reading this, I'm going to guess for you specifically with 98.3 % accuracy.

You are Straight.

1.7% in the US are gay [huffingtonpost.com] . So is it just me or is a 88% accuracy when you can just guess one answer every time and be 98% accurate worthless?

Re:88% accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143699)

Whoever is reading this [...] 1.7% in the US [...]

You mean "whoever in the US is reading this".

Grew suspicious of this a few weeks ago (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about a year ago | (#43143709)

I was having a conversation about physics with a friend via comments. It wrapped up with him expressing he enjoyed the argument, thanked me, and added "we should get high sometime. Haha, jk." Anyway, I liked the comment because of the leading statement. The next day I see a "suggested post" about marijauna. Thanks FB. I tried pot in college, the time and place for that, and have too much to lose by getting caught with it now. However, I think you should be able to do what you want with your body and legalization would cut expenses of chasing it. But FB seems to think I'm a habitual smoker based on the ads I've seen.

Tyler Perry (1)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | about a year ago | (#43143739)

LOL

Most Salient Table (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143793)

This table has the most indicative likes : http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2013/03/07/1218772110.DCSupplemental/st01.pdf

Thought it would be useful to put it here so people don't have to click through 3 "supporting data" links.

internet crystal radio ball makes school shooters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43143819)

if facebook can do this stuff with your public 'likes', I can't even imagine what sorts of highly detailed personality and behavior profiles (and behavior predictions) companies could come up with if they had access to a continuous stream of information about what music you are listening to at any given time. If you know what music a person likes, enough to reliably predict songs they'll respond positively to, and you are streaming music to mostly passive listeners, like radio, but you're also engaging those listeners to give positive and negative feedback about the music you're playing, then you're collecting massive amounts of information not only about a person's likes and dislikes in general (which is the extent of netflix's data-collecting capabilities for the most part), but since you're engaged with your audience directly though the songs you're playing over extended periods of time during single continuous listening sessions, and then these single continuous sessions pile up over days, months, years, you can develop extremely colorful pictures of an individual's personality, see changes in mood and temperament over periods of time, and make predictions about future mood changes. And if you know what a person likes, you also know what he doesn't like. If you know what kind of music will make a listener feel happy, then you also know what to play to bring her down, or make her feel scared. If you have a profile like this, and can see how a person changes and responds over long periods of time, and you know what he likes and dislikes, how to make him happy or sad, and you're also streaming him music every day of the week for several hours during his workday, then you can also start manipulating his moods and behavior by modifying what you play him. To me that sort of makes facebook's like activity profiles seem a little weak, especially since any internet streaming media company worth its salt already has access to that data anyway.

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