Shocking Results from Facebook Users Behaviour Research

Recently, researchers have achieved something rather shocking.
Experts were able to accurately assume a Facebook user’s race, IQ, sexuality, substance use and political views using only their ‘likes’.

What came out from the research is that users on Facebook unintentionally reveal personal information including their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs.

Michal Kosinski, the lead Cambridge University analyst who worked with Microsoft Research on the study, has stated that “The important point is that, on one hand, it is good that people’s behaviour is predictable because it means Facebook can suggest very good stories on your news feed.”
“But what is shocking is that you can use the same data to predict your political views or your sexual orientation," he added.

Based on the 58,000 Facebook users behaviour, analysts were able to predict whether men were homosexual with 88% accuracy by their likes of Facebook pages, even if those users had not explicitly shared their sexuality on the site. Fewer than 5% of the homosexual participants in the study clicked obvious Likes, such as “Gay Marriage”.

Furthermore, the results are considered 75% accurate for predicting drug use among Facebook users, analyzing only public “like” updates. The findings will flare up concerns once again over how much companies and governments know about internet users through their online habits.

Online sites such as Facebook should be forced by regulation to inform users that deeply private information may be gleaned about them using the same technology that recommends films and music, he added.

The findings come shortly after Facebook announced a partnership with four of the world’s biggest data brokers aimed at improving targeted advertising on the site. The move means Facebook can target ads to its users based on their online and offline activity, including their location and high street shopping habits.

Facebook has not made any comments on the research findings yet.

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