“Facebook knows you’re gay before you do.”


Mon, Mar 25th, 2013 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Jon Green of AmericaBlog, because of the amount of private data we constantly make available, websites like Facebook are able to guess, often correctly, if a user is gay.

Matt’s two comments, along with other data points Matt had provided through his age, gender, browsing habits/history and other trends, led Facebook to estimate that if you lined a hundred people with characteristics identical to Matt’s, a significant number of them will be closeted gays. In short, while Facebook didn’t know Matt was gay and struggling to come out, Matt’s digital profile suggested that he was more likely than your average user to be in that situation.

All the way back in 2009, two MIT grads were able to write a program that was able to discern whether a particular Facebook user was gay based on: A) whether they didn’t specify a sexual orientation in their Facebook profile; and B) whether they had an inordinate number of openly-gay Facebook friends. There are a lot of different ways to guess whether someone’s gay.

To put this in a real-world context, with some employers now asking for access to job-seekers’ Facebook log-in information, do you really want every future employer to know that you’re gay, which they’ll suspect as soon as they start seeing all the gay ads popping up once they’ve logged in as you. For some, that may not be an issue. For others, it most certainly would be. But regardless, it should be your decision to release that information, and to whom — no one else’s.



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