How Facebook can now predict our love life
Not content to know about all your privacy, Facebook can now guess with whom you share your life and predict more or less reliability how long it will last. How is that possible? With a new algorithm developed by Lars Backstrom Facebook and John Kleinberg of Cornell University.
The system is based on a new measurement tool that researchers have called “dispersion” , decrypts The Verge. This index has the “connections that exist between people who have many friends.” Until now, researchers focused on the “embeddedness” (which could result in integration), which is limited to only count the number of friends that two users have in common, “a poor indicator when it comes to relationship, ” says the New York Times.
The dispersion is a broader tool, says The Verge: “The people involved in a relationship tend to connect to different areas: for example, a husband will probably introduce his wife to his office colleagues, friends from high school and the members of his club football, the people with whom it will probably no other friends in common. “
Of the 400,000 users who reported being married couple or on Facebook, the algorithm was able to identify who was married to that in 60% of cases, and was in a relationship with that for 1 in 3. The system failed when the dispersion index pairs were low, notes the New York Times: “Couples with low dispersion […] are 50% more likely to separate in two months than those with a high dispersion.”
A high index of dispersion is a good omen for the rest of the relationship, a phenomenon Quartz easily explained : “People who have their partner to all their friends tend to stay together.” The researchers are also interested in people who have not indicated on Facebook have a relationship with someone. And again, the algorithm has proven to be effective: the 129,000 profiles “single” analyzed, the system was able to guess who was a couple who was not in 60% of cases.
The survey, already online, will be presented at a conference on social networks in February. It will allow Facebook to adapt better content and advertisements to users. The social network has not said that, in addition to him, will have access to this new information to go a little deeper into our privacy.