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A Facebook ‘like’ reveals more than we know

 

Introduction

This subject has always been a bit of a interest of mine (David). Through the years, I have seen too many young hockey players with social media postings that I know have affected their athletic careers. In conversations that I have had with various college coaches over the years (for example), the content of a twitter account often comes up. Knowing the dedication and focus required to get to the next level, I often weed out potential clients based (in part) on social media postings. After reading  this article this week, I thought that  I should bring this issue once again to our readers’ attention.

 

A Facebook ‘like’ reveals more than we know

 

By Rapheal Satter,  The Associated Press

 

LONDON — Clicking those friendly blue “like” buttons strewn across the Web may be doing more than marking you as a fan of Coca-Cola or Lady Gaga.

It could out you as gay.

It might reveal how you vote.

It might even suggest that you’re an unmarried introvert with a high IQ and a weakness for nicotine.

That’s the conclusion of a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers reported analyzing the likes of more than 58,000 American Facebook users to make guesses about their personalities and behaviour, and even whether they drank, smoked, or did drugs.

Cambridge University researcher David Stillwell, one of the study’s authors, said the results may come as a surprise.

“Your likes may be saying more about you than you realize,” he said.

Facebook launched its like button in 2009, and the small thumbs-up symbol has since become ubiquitous on the social network and common across the rest of the Web as well.

Facebook said last year that roughly 2.7 billion new likes pour out onto the Internet every day – endorsing everything from pop stars to soda pop. That means an ever-expanding pool of data available to marketers, managers, and just about anyone else interested in users’ inner lives, especially those who aren’t careful about their privacy settings.

Stillwell and his colleagues scooped up a bucketful of that data in the way that many advertisers do — through apps.

Millions of Facebook users have surveyed their own personal traits using applications including a program called myPersonality. Stillwell, as owner of the app, has received revenue from it, but declined to say how much.

His study zeroed in on the 58,466 U.S. test takers who had also volunteered access to their likes.

When researchers crunched the “like” data and compared their results to answers given in the personality test, patterns emerged in nearly every direction. Since the study involved people who volunteered access to their data, it’s unclear if the trends would apply to all Facebook users.

The study found that Facebook likes were linked to sexual orientation, gender, age, ethnicity, IQ, religion, politics and cigarette, drug, or alcohol use, since people shows a lot of their regular and sexual features in their online behavior since is something natural for every person, some look for couples online, look adult films or visit websites with adult services like zoomescorts.co.uk. The likes also mapped to relationship status, number of Facebook friends, as well as half a dozen different personality traits.

 

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