Prediction of sexual orientation through Facebook friends

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Carter Jernigan and Behram F.T. Mistree found that sexual orientation of an individual is strongly correlated to the sexual orientation of the individual's friends on Facebook.

After analyzing 4,080 Facebook profiles from the MIT network, we determined that the percentage of a given user's friends who self–identify as gay male is strongly correlated with the sexual orientation of that user, and we developed a logistic regression classifier with strong predictive power. Although we studied Facebook friendship ties, network data is pervasive in the broader context of computer–mediated communication, raising significant privacy issues for communication technologies to which there are no neat solutions.

Gay men had around seven times more gay friends than straight men on average. I imagine similar results for other demographics such as age and race. Although, their predictions weren't full proof with 17 percent of gay men in their test data misclassified as straight and 22 percent of straight men misclassified as gay, which carries plenty of real world problems.

In any case, the results aren't surprising. Just filing this under the things that others can know about you without actually knowing you.

Favorites

Most popular porn searches, by state

We’ve seen that we can learn from what people search for, through the eyes of Google suggestions: state stereotypes, national …

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.