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Research finds Facebook can be used to predict who you are in a relationship with

Posted By Jeff Belanger On November 1, 2013 @ 9:36 AM In World Wide Web | No Comments

facebook study [1]

A new study seeks to determine who you are in a romantic relationship with, even if you don’t state who it is, based on mutual Facebook friends data. The focus question of this study is, “given all the connections among a person’s friends, can you recognize his or her romantic partners from the network structure alone?”

Running the study are Jon Kleinberg, from Cornell University, and Lars Backstrom, who works as a an engineer with Facebook. The measurement the team used was name “dispersion”, and according to the team it is “the extent to which two people’s mutual friends are not themselves well-connected.”

Out of 1.3 million on Facebook, who contain between 50 and 2000 friends, as well as listing that they have a significant other in their relationship status and are also 20 years or older, they found a higher dispersion rate among people who were the main link between their mutual friends, as opposed to a lot of their mutual friends knowing each well. After a year in a relationship then they also take into account time spent viewing their significant other’s pics.

The study was able to tell who a person’s spouse or significant other was at a rate of 60%.

[via CNET [2], CBSNews [3]]


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[1] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/facebook-study.jpg

[2] CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57610086-1/predicting-relationship-status-facebook-knows-more-than-you-think/

[3] CBSNews: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57610036/predicting-relationship-status-facebook-knows-more-than-you-think/

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