Posted on
January 22nd, 2015

Facebook Knows You Better Than Your Family!

How well do your friends and family know you? Apparently the answer is; not that much!

According to a recent study, conducted at the Cambridge and Stanford Universities, Facebook knows you better than your family and friends.

The researchers have analysed the like function on the social media site, and seeing how it uses this information to get to know you.

Over 86,000 people were asked to complete a survey which asked them a range of different questions. They focused on the 5 main psychological attributes, which were agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism and openness.

These answers were then compared to the individual’s likes on Facebook. It is thought that people with certain attributes will enjoy some books, films and music more than others, so they could tell what sort of person each participant was by looking at these likes.

For instance, people who followed artists like David Bowie were thought to be liberal and artistic. Whereas users who liked shows like The Apprentice, tended to be more organised.

If the software analysed around 70 of the user’s Facebook likes, they could gain more knowledge about the person that a flatmate or friend. By analysing 150 of these likes, the software would know more than a parent or sibling.

Competing with a spouse proved to be quite difficult, with the software having to analyse around 300 of the user’s likes before getting to the same level knowledge of the partner.

The fact that the computer only needed to analyse ten likes to know you more than your co-workers will come as a shock to many people. By signing up to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you provide consent to them accessing certain personal information. But how long will it be until they can gain information from just a handful of likes? I might be sooner than we think!

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