This just in: for those of you who don't openly proclaim your gayety on Facebook, two nerds at MIT may have blown your cover for good.
Two students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a piece of software that can reportedly guess if someone is gay based solely on their Facebook profile.Sure, there are some people out there who join all sorts of gay groups and then don't say they're gay. Any properly equipped Facebook stalker can find that information. Plus, if you're shirtless and wearing makeup in your profile pic... well, that's an easy observation too. But that's their fault for being obvious.
The project, first reported by The Boston Globe, analyses a person’s Facebook friends and uses that data to decide if they’re gay or not. When tested on ten men, known to be gay but not publishing the information on their Facebook profile, the software correctly guessed the sexual preferences of all ten.
But if you go to great lengths to hide your sexuality, it is most likely for an important reason.
This is pretty scary technology, folks. Should it fall into the wrong hands, you could have people being gay bashed without even acting out of the normal. Imagine gay-bashing groups using the technology to find gay people in their area, then locating them on a GPS system, then heading out after them.
Scary, and completely possible.
Personally I wish they would just set this program on fire. I can see ten million ways in which it can hurt, and not a single way in which it could help. Anyone who REALLY wants to be closeted, will have plenty of ways to hide the fact - for instance, not being friends with other gay people. People who just don't want others to know may be crucified for finding online support in private while not letting their inner selves be exposed.
Those of us in places where broadcasting a fact like this is not a liberty - or smart idea - the repercussions are frightening. Hopefully they will do away with this. Or a petition will be made to stop it from being used.
Not since the program where YouTube can tell you're using illegal music for your soundtrack, have nerds come between me and my happiness.
Get this shit out of here, please.