Mining Social Media

A recent CBC news article caught my eye because it highlighted how researchers, in fields such as psychology and computer science, are increasingly mining social media (e.g. Tweets; Facebook profiles) to gain insight into people’s physical and mental health. The article questioned if this method of data mining represents a means to conduct “personality research, without talking to any actual people.”  Computer scientist Michal Kosinski, from Stanford University, points out that “by looking at your Facebook profile or your Twitter feed, we can very accurately predict very intimate traits that you may not be aware you’re revealing.” How do you feel about this type of research – does it represent an innovative approach to health research or an invasive monitoring of our online space?

Link to article:


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