MIT Students Invent 'Gaydar' Software

A couple of MIT students conducting a study on social networking arrived upon a very unique conclusion: the two discovered that by studying the company a person keeps online it is possible to determine the individual's sexual preference, even if they have decided to not share that information in their profile. reports that two MIT students recently decided to study social networking and privacy from a new angle. Instead of the usual "Did you know your Facebook profile could ruin your chances of gainful employment or get you fired?" approach, the two decided to take a look at what people unknowingly reveal about themselves through social networking sites and named the project "Project Gaydar."

Carter Jernigan and Behram Mistreeused created a software program that looks at the gender and sexuality of a person's friends and, using statistical analysis, predicts their sexual preference. While does concede that the two students had no way of checking if all of their predictions were right or not, they claim that based on their knowledge outside the Facebook world, the tool appeared to be particularly accurate when it came to men.

“When they first did it, it was absolutely striking - we said, ‘Oh my God - you can actually put some computation behind that,’ ” Hal Abelson, a computer science professor at MIT who co-taught the course, said according to “That pulls the rug out from a whole policy and technology perspective that the point is to give you control over your information - because you don’t have control over your information.”

Read the full story here.

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • Hellbound
    I'm a female lesbian stuck in a mans body...
  • Anonymous
    I'm afraid to leave a comment here. Someone might find out I'm gay!
  • Other Comments
  • ta152h
    Is this really useful? I mean, everyone can pretty much tell a homo from a hetero in real life, and if they can't, they need more than a software program to help them. Online, do you really care? As long as the risk of them grabbing my butt is zero, I don't care at all if a guy is gay or not.

    Should I?

    The other side is, now they will have homosexuals worried about how they act online. Is that really fair to them? Don't they have enough problems dealing with how they act in real life? Now they have to worry online too. Good grief.
  • Anonymous
    lol....i don't like gay people
  • Anonymous
    haha i think queers are dumb