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Facebook To Share Private Data With Politico 157

tomhudson writes "AllThingsD is reporting that Facebook has agreed to share users' private data with Politico. Quoting: 'Most notably, the Facebook-Politico data set will include Facebook users' private status messages and comments. Every post and comment — both public and private — by a U.S. user that mentions a presidential candidate's name will be fed through a sentiment analysis tool.' Yes, they claim it will be anonymized, but we've seen that doesn't really work in real life."
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Facebook To Share Private Data With Politico

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  • Google does the same (Score:5, Informative)

    by TechGuys ( 2554082 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:39PM (#38715888)
    Even the article mentions it:

    This is similar to the way Google offers reports on search trends based on its users’ aggregate search activities.

    In fact, all of this is public information too. You can look at search amounts for specific searches here [].

    It's just numerical data. Facebook seems to do this analysis by searching all the posts that mention candidate's name and if the associated words are positive or negative.

    The comparison to anonymized data in the summary is stupid. Facebook publishing any of those messages, they're just doing analysis on them. There would be good point in this article if they actually published those messages because then anonymizing doesn't work, but it's a moot point because they aren't making anything public. Only the aggregated search amounts.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:49PM (#38715976)

    Google does not give it's data to anyone else. Facebook does. The difference is clear.

    Oh also fuck you DCTech/cmdrpony/ge7/tech4. Get a life.

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:51PM (#38716014) Journal

    Small point: There is a vast difference between some half-cobbled search term pecked in, and a statement of personal ideology. I mean, something like "Sen. Congresscritter criminal record" on Google has a lot more variations of context that could be applied than a Facebook-borne "Senator Congresscritter is a friggin pedophile/terrorist that stomps on puppies and then enjoys beating up old ladies while forcing his wife and kids to watch. If it wasn't for his money and status, he'd be enduring 30 years fo hard sodomy at the nearest federal penitentiary! Oh, and he cheats on his taxes - I have proof!"

    Otherwise? While it would likely begin as just numerical data, I can see how the Facebook setup could be very easily abused. You're still parsing the words, after all, and those can easily contain the owner's name, or at least enough references to infer it quite easily.

  • by TechGuys ( 2554082 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:56PM (#38716102)
    Yes, the summary is badly worded. Facebook themselves clearly say that it is Facebook who will run the statistics software [].
  • by TechGuys ( 2554082 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:59PM (#38716136)

    facebook is sharing anonymized personal messages and typed posts. the difference here is night and day.

    No they aren't. Summary is just badly worded. Facebook will not share any messages with anyone, they will run the statistics tools themselves. Read the announcement by Facebook [], where they clearly state that. Politico will not get the messages.

  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @03:33PM (#38716502)

    If Politico actually believes that it can get useful information from the statistics alone, they paid a ton of money for absolutely nothing. People can hawk the social media tools all they want, but all they do is keyword analysis with some language heuristics thrown in. The vendors themselves will tell you (if they are honest) that they cannot tell you what the accuracy of their tool is, because nobody knows for sure how the training posts correlate with the posts in the wild.

    And DCTech/InsightIn140Bytes/SmithZ/Whatever else you will post under in the next FB/MS/Google stories, I hope you get paid well. Your job is worse than that of a used car salesman. At least they don't lie about whether they are used car salesman.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith