Accidental outing on facebook

Both important and unsurprising: your friendship network reveals your sexuality, with a pretty high accuracy.

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.

While George’s work (among others) goes much, much further in pulling down illusions of privacy in networks. But sometimes we need the simple stuff to hammer home the basic point that it’s more-or-less impossible to make your connections public, and still have any real form of anonymity.

[admittedly the first form, at least, is doing little more than mechanizing what happens socially in any case]

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