University of Cambridge Facebook ‘Likes’ study

By Sterling Morris
USA Today recently reported on a Facebook study performed by University of Cambridge researchers on traits that can be identified based simply off pages, topics, organizations, and other entities a Facebook user likes. Posts from friends liked by the Facebook users were also evaluated. The researchers sampled 58,000 U.S. Facebook users’ ‘likes’ and were able to accurately determine race, age, IQ, sexuality, personality, and political views. 

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the post:

“You ‘Like’ something. You leave a comment on somebody’s wall. They are now recorded in a way that machines can calibrate and measure them with great accuracy. Together, they add up to substantially more information from which you can make quite reasonably accurate predictions.”

A particular comment by one Facebook spokesman speaking on the study was interesting: “No matter the vehicle for information — a bumper sticker, yard sign, logos on clothing, or other data found online — it has already been proven that it is possible for social scientists to draw conclusions about personal attributes based on these characteristics.”

It’s no wonder so many politicians are turning to social media in an attempt to gain further insights on their constituency.

To read the full USA Today article, click here

Sterling Morris, Co-Founder of PoliticIt, wrote this ranking
Sterling Morris

PoliticIt provides It Scores on political races. An It Score measures a politician’s digital influence. It Scores have correctly predicted more than 700 election outcomes in 2012 with 91% accuracy indicating that digital influence seems to correlate with election results. PoliticIt will release Politicit Campaign in early 2013 — software that will enable politicians to access their daily It Score and monitor their digital influence. Contact Sterling at to become a beta tester of PoliticIt Campaign.

Sterling Morris is a co-founder at PoliticIt. Connect with PoliticIt on Twitter and Facebook.


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