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There Is a Fly In My Tweet: Tracking Food-Borne Illness the Crowd-Sourced Way

timothy posted 1 year,22 days | from the persistent-deliciousness-tracked-separately dept.

Social Networks 16

First time accepted submitter kraken9 writes "New research shows that online chatter can help you avoid food poisoning. Leveraging a statistical language model of Twitter users' online communication, nEmesis finds individuals who are likely suffering from a foodborne illness. People's visits to restaurants are modeled by matching GPS data embedded in the messages with restaurant addresses. As a result, each venue is assigned a health score based on the proportion of customers that fell ill shortly after visiting it. The paper shows that this score correlates with the official inspection data from the Department of Health, and argues that 'nEmesis offers an inexpensive way to enhance current methods to monitor food safety (e.g., adaptive inspections) and identify potentially problematic venues in near-real time.' Similar techniques have been used before to predict the spread of flu from GPS-tagged social data."

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16 comments

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Any considered eating with ass? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44530379)

Eat ass first? Comes out of mouth. may be better in the long run that way.

Re:Any considered eating with ass? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44530477)

South Park did it in episode How to Eat with Your Butt [southparkstudios.com] .

Re:Any considered eating with ass? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44531199)

Madonna has.

people tweet when they have the runs ? really ? (3, Insightful)

vpness (921181) | 1 year,22 days | (#44530555)

really ?

Re:people tweet when they have the runs ? really ? (2)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | 1 year,22 days | (#44530627)

Are you one of those lucky persons without a friend who feels obliged to tweet every plate she eats?

Fearmongering Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44530571)

Anthony Bourdain himself said, "Your body is not a temple. Your body is a rollercoaster - enjoy the ride!" If you're afraid of getting food poisoning, then stay in your mother's basement and eat Cheetoes all your life.

I had bad fuckin' food poisoning once. It was back when I was dumpster-diving, and I noticed a plate of Mediterranean food which looked good but smelled like a pisspot of beer baking on the bottom of a hot trash can in 100-degree weather all day. I ate it. I think what got me sick was the diced salade de tomates. I woke up the next day hot and fucking delirious, puking my fucking guts out, with chills so bad not even a jacuzzi or hot bath would ail them. I would drift off to sleep in the bathroom, the fever in my brain causing me to vocalize, "Uhhhh..." involuntarily in my torpor. I wonder what my then-roommates thought of that?

But I took it like a fucking man and fear nothing. I'll eat even your momma's pussy!

-- Ethanol-fueled

WHAT? Modded down to -1????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44530979)

I got modded down????? Ever since the liberals and Negroes took over Slashdot and disabled my account for having the guts to speak the truth, they have attempted to save themselves from embarrassment by censoring me. But I will never be silenced!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Said it before... (1)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,22 days | (#44530675)

Any organism, virus, germ, bacterium that tries to get onboard me does so at it's own risk. I've got enough chemicals and heavy metals in my system to open my own compounding center, so bring it.

But yes, I'm all for crowd sourcing on this one. Those little buggers might know how to travel, but they can't be the speed of the internet.

Re:Said it before... (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,22 days | (#44530777)

Those little buggers might know how to travel, but they can't beat the speed of the internet.

Evolution is an endless arms race - tachyon based pathogens will evolve.

GPS autotagged in Tweets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44530771)

Now that's interesting.

Fake Tweets? (1)

imunfair (877689) | 1 year,22 days | (#44531763)

So all you have to do is spoof some GPS info on a Tweet (super easy to do), and then later be "sick" and you can take down a restaurant across the country? Bonus points for doing this across multiple accounts and making it appear like the shop had a bad case of food poisoning.

It's interesting for tracking things like epidemics, but trying to use this to promote/tank business is going to turn into Yelp style shenannigans with the botnet spoofers making bundles of cash for rigging ratings.

Re:Fake Tweets? (1)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,22 days | (#44532959)

since when do tweets come with gps embedded?

Incubation Periods (1)

imuffin (196159) | 1 year,22 days | (#44531983)

How will they account for the widely varying incubation periods [cdc.gov] of different foodborne illnesses?

Two of the most common infections, E Coli and Salmonella, can take several days to show symptoms.

OB xkcd (0)

laejoh (648921) | 1 year,22 days | (#44532097)

Can you get food poisoning from licking an autistic kid [xkcd.com] ?

Similar to Google Flu Trends (1)

joelsherrill (132624) | 1 year,22 days | (#44532497)

Assume people eat out, mention a restaurant in a tweet, and complain of being sick within 72 hours. I can see how over enough tweets -- just like enough searches -- you can make this work.

There's GMOs in my tweet (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,22 days | (#44532741)

Hey! This could catch on.. Since the FDA has been bought, we might have a way of circumventing it.

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