Saturday04 February 2023

If “Likes” could talk

Reading time is around minutes.

Research conducted by Microsoft Research and the University of Cambridge has shown that the "likes" that we give to posts and articles can draw upon us the stunning amount of information and all that with a probability of 80%. Researchers managed to collect enough data to unravel the religious and ethnic background, political views, sex and many other things by using applications on Facebook like MyPersonality. According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of guessing the political affiliation of American respondents (ie - Democrats or Republicans) just based on their “likes” was over 85%, the race could be hit in 95% of cases, and sexual orientation in 88%.

It is interesting that some seemingly marginal “liking” of things has been linked with the essential characteristics of a person. Thus, it was discovered that those who “liked” Austin in Texas, the films "Big Momma" and the statement, "The relationship is a connection between two people, not the whole universe" are probably consumers of some drugs.

On the other hand, those who are “liked” Swimming, a particular type of ice cream and the statement “gliding across the floor with socks on” - probably never have tried drugs. The study is published in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

[Ed - This study appears to have some valid points and also some very invalid ones. It is pretty, easy based on facebook likes and posts, to guess a political affiliation if you really want. The same can be said for race and sexual orientation, however the extent that they are trying to push this stretches the limits of satisitcal probablility. I know many people that like the humor behind posts that this study would put in the "drug use" category who have never used drugs. This study is also concerning in that it shows a new movement to find other ways to track our habbits and patterns accross the internet. I have to wonder if this is the way the marketing world is going now that more and more people are starting to block cookies...]

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 22:34

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