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article imageResearchers say Facebook 'Likes' can reveal your secrets

By Owen Weldon     Mar 12, 2013 in Odd News
Researchers say that clicking "like" buttons across the web may be doing more than simply marking you down as a fan of something. Researchers say it may out you as gay, reveal how you vote or suggest that you have a weakness for nicotine.
According to Fox, that was the conclusion of a study that was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.
According to Los Angeles Times, researchers found more than 58,000 volunteers who use Facebook, and had them take a psychological and intelligence test and had them share all their profile information as well as likes. Researchers also ran algorithms and checked how the likes correlated with what they knew about the users ( from tests, photos, profiles, etc..
Researchers discovered that there was a high correlation for many personal traits, and not just the things that are staring back at people in profile pictures, such as ethnicity and gender. Take sexual orientation, which some people are very open about, and others are not. About 5% of the participants "outed" by algorithms were connected to causes such as "No H8 campaign," which promotes "gender, human and marriage equality."
According to CNET, researchers say that predicting attributes and preferences could be used to improve a range of services as well as products. However, researchers also said that there were considerable negative implications, such as when digital records are analyzed without a user's consent or knowledge.
Researchers also said that such predictions could pose a threat to a person's freedom, well-being and even their life.
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