Sunday, September 20, 2009

Project ‘Gaydar’: An MIT experiment raises new questions about online privacy - The Boston Globe

A controversial analysis project 

Using data from the social network Facebook, they made a striking discovery: just by looking at a person’s online friends, they could predict whether the person was gay. They did this with a software program that looked at the gender and sexuality of a person’s friends and, using statistical analysis, made a prediction. The two students had no way of checking all of their predictions, but based on their own knowledge outside the Facebook world, their computer program appeared quite accurate for men, they said. People may be effectively “outing” themselves just by the virtual company they keep.

Project ‘Gaydar’: An MIT experiment raises new questions about online privacy - The Boston Globe

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