Facebook Knows You’re Gay Before Your Mother Does

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Can’t… Look… Away…

Bit of an amusing article.. especially when they mention some of the conclusions by the researchers of the study.

Facebook knows you’re gay before your mother does | ITworld.

Initially I thought it was a joke ‘study’ (similar to one I previously wrote about HERE), but following the link above I found myself reading an article about the study itself on the University of Cambridge website.

Researchers at Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre, in collaboration with Microsoft Research Cambridge, analysed a dataset of over 58,000 US Facebook users, who volunteered their Likes, demographic profiles and psychometric testing results through the myPersonality application.

Basically, the researchers used the volunteer’s ‘Facebook Likes’ to create statistical records of each participant in order to predict personal details, such as sexuality, race, gender, religion, political affiliation, and so forth.

Models proved 88% accurate for determining male sexuality, 95% accurate distinguishing African-American from Caucasian American and 85% accurate differentiating Republican from Democrat. Christians and Muslims were correctly classified in 82% of cases, and good prediction accuracy was achieved for relationship status and substance abuse – between 65 and 73%.

But it does make you wonder.. How much of what we do on social media websites affect other areas of our life, like potential for new jobs or even new relationships.  Just how much information is available to view by those we haven’t added as ‘friends’?

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How’d they know about THAT?!?

We’ve all heard horror stories about people who’ve posted something negative about their workplace or boss, and have ended up being fired for it.  But do companies actually go one step further by checking out profiles of potential job candidates before inviting them for an interview?

Apparently so.

According to an article I read HERE, it’s becoming common practice to check applicants out online during the interview process (note: the article talks about US companies/recruiters.. unsure how this is used here in the UK).  However, there’s a fine line between looking at someone’s LinkedIn profile and using something potentially damaging from a Facebook post/pic/opinion/etc against an applicant to cost them a job.

But it’s got me wondering – Has a potential recruiter or employer possibly found my blog, and decided based on what I’ve written or posted that they didn’t want to discuss a role with me?  I know I can be a bit outspoken at times on certain topics, and I don’t write under a pseudonym at all.

Hell, my name is part of the actual web address so makes it somewhat easy to find.

There’s honestly no way to know for sure.

Will it make me change how I use my little corner of cyber-space?  Probably not…

…Though I may double check my Facebook settings or remove some pics *ahem* from certain ‘dating’ sites. 😉

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6 thoughts on “Facebook Knows You’re Gay Before Your Mother Does

  1. I’ve actually had someone bring up in an interview something I liked on Facebook. It was in a positive light, but still, it’s weird to know my Facebook might be as important as my resume now.

  2. aguywithoutboxers

    Excellent point to ponder, my buddy. Too often, we all divulge probably more than we should. Like yourself, I use my real name and email on my blog. Who knows, maybe it will produce an interesting job offer? 🙂 LOL!

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