News / Science & Technology

Personality Can be Predicted via Facebook 'Likes'

Information willingly shared on sites such as Facebook can be used to predict a lot about people's preferences on a wide variety of topics, according to a recent study.Information willingly shared on sites such as Facebook can be used to predict a lot about people's preferences on a wide variety of topics, according to a recent study.
x
Information willingly shared on sites such as Facebook can be used to predict a lot about people's preferences on a wide variety of topics, according to a recent study.
Information willingly shared on sites such as Facebook can be used to predict a lot about people's preferences on a wide variety of topics, according to a recent study.
VOA News
Your digital footprint says a lot more about you than you think.

According to a recent study by researchers at Cambridge University, easily accessible online digital records can be distilled to predict some personality traits or behavior we might prefer be kept private. Among those traits and behaviors, according to the study, are “sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age and gender.”

The analysis was based on 58,000 volunteers who offered to share their Facebook “likes.” Using the information gleaned from Facebook, the researchers were able to accurately tell a man’s sexual orientation 88 percent of the time, whether they were white or African-American 95 percent of the time, and whether they were a Democrat or Republican 85 percent of the time.

Even religious affiliation, specifically determining if a person was Christian or Muslim, was predicted accurately 82 percent of the time.

Intelligence was another trait researchers were able to accurately measure, and Facebook “likes” associated with intelligence included “thunderstorms,” “The Colbert Report,” a popular comedy show in the United States, “science” and “curly fries.”

Clues to lower intelligence were liking “Sephora,” a chain of perfume stores, “I love being a mom,” “Harley Davidson,” a popular manufacturer of motorcycles and “Lady Antebellum,” a popular country music group.

According to the paper, published in the journal PNAS, information like this could be used by corporations to better target potential consumers.

For example, a U.S. retailer tried to predict pregnancies among its female customers, so it could send them discount offers for prenatal vitamins or maternity clothing.  While the offers might have been welcomed by some, the negative side is that it might lead to sending offers to unwed women from a culture that frowns on pregnancy out of wedlock.

“As this example shows, predicting personal  information to improve products, services and targeting can also lead to dangerous invasions of privacy,” according to the paper.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid