Technology

Facebook Literally Knows You Better Than Your Friends And Family

shutterstock_224037664
Shutterstock

Hey, were you not feeling a creepy existential dread that faceless, silent corporations know you more intimately than ever and are using that information to their advantage? We can fix that! A scientific study just proved that Facebook knows you better than anybody in your life possibly short of your significant other.

Researchers at Stanford used personality quizzes and the Facebook likes of 86,220 people to create an algorithm using likes to predict the results of that quiz. Then they put their subject’s friends and family up to the task of answering a ten-point questionnaire, to see how they did against the machine.

The answers? According to Popular Science, basically you have to be humping somebody to know them better than Facebook does. The good news is that the computer’s average was just 5.6 out of ten questions; the bad news is that even close family members only averaged five questions correct out of ten. Also interesting is how many “likes” it took the algorithm to beat out certain categories of people. Armed with just 10 Facebook likes, it could wax coworkers, 70 likes let it beat out your friends, and it took a full 150 to top family members.

There’s a caveat or two here, which is that any personality test is more about how people see themselves rather than how others see them. If you ask your obnoxious coworker how they view themselves, it’s probably all puppies and cuddles, not passive-aggressive comments and lunch-thieving. But it does mean that Facebook has a powerful grasp of your self-image, and one that gets sharper with each Like you feed them. So, yeah, that might be a point of concern.

×