Friends and colleagues know us worse than a program that analyzes information in Facebook

The publishing house “Alpina publisher” has published a book by a science journalist Borislav Kozlovsky “Maximum repost. How social networks make us believe fake news”. “Pravmir” publishes an excerpt from the book about how the world’s accessible information policy using data from our accounts in Facebook to promote.

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  • “No Facebook, almost no one remembers my birthday” – why I deleted the profiles in social networks

Borislav Kozlovskiy

The first Association with the word “propaganda” mouthpiece. A large metal thing on a pole, which in June 41-go has announced about the German attack. Needless to say that the voice in the horn may not be competitors: not surprisingly, three days after the beginning of the war Soviet citizens were ordered to surrender their radios, so they don’t know about the state of Affairs at the front from the news of foreign radio stations. Classic propaganda works well when alternative sources of information available.

How, then, propaganda is possible in the modern world, where every smartphone in your pocket, the smartphone, the Internet, and the Internet million views?

If the promotion is targeted, and point to appeal to each personally, all other views will not be able to compete. This idea came to mean the word “on micro targeting”.

As soon as the November 2016 election results in the United States (and Donald trump won against all odds, and magazines had to repaginate in such a manner to the prepared cover with Hillary Clinton), the British consulting company Cambridge Analytica took responsibility for this surprise for themselves.

In a press release the company attributed the success of trump, whose campaign on the Internet, she planned for its “revolutionary approach to communication based on the data”.

The services of the same company was used by the leaders of the movement “Breksi” for a British exit from the European Union and also all of a sudden won in the referendum.

Examples microTargeting elections in the United States leads the Swiss magazine Das Magazin in its investigation, published a month after the election (this is the most discussed of all the articles written in 2016 in German).

People with high anxiety need to show the banners with the hand of the robber, smashing the glass in the house report: candidate trump will defend your right to guns, everyone should have the right to defend themselves.

And there are people who are thinking about guns is sick, but gets them interested in injustice and charity. These will see an investigation about the failure of the Fund Hillary Clinton during the disaster in Haiti. Here in 2010 there was an earthquake and the cholera epidemic, the name Clinton helped raise more than $ 5 billion — and a large part of this amount was spent on useless for the affected goal.

Each such message on billboards, visible to all, would have caused a wave of discussion and likely criticism. But the investigation said that it was a “shadow” political advertising in Facebook — she saw only those to whom it is perfect.

One wonders where Cambridge Analytica learned that to fit? It relied on a well-known model of psycho, invented in the 1960s. With the filing of Hans Eysenck, author of the famous test for intelligence, psychologists-practitioners caught five-factor model of personality: a set of five qualities that are relatively independent from each other, which can be reduced all the rest, from impulsiveness to interest in the UFO problem and brownies.

The “big five” is openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, friendliness and neuroticism. Each of the five can be assessed on a scale from 0 to 1. The model is old, it’s referenced in tens of thousands of psychological articles.

In the new scheme Cambridge Analytica that’s what it was. Big data specialist from Stanford’s Michal Kosinski figured out how to bring these estimates of human behavior in Facebook. Cambridge Analytica and invented a convenient way to gather data about this behavior.

When in 2018, revealed details on how exactly the data of 50 million users got the spin doctors, the hashtag #DeleteFacebook (“delete Facebook”) made it to top Twitter, company Facebook fell by $ 35 billion, and mark Zuckerberg bought one strip of advertising in six major British Newspapers to print their apology to the users.

It was not personal secrets, correspondence in the messenger and record, hidden away. And users have given these data for yourself — although really had no idea that data’s going to happen next.

Photo: istockphoto

Activity in Facebook allows with good accuracy to predict the gender, age and religion

In the most famous of his scientific articles Kosinski claims: activity in Facebook allows with good accuracy to predict sexual orientation and nationality. Gender and age. Religion and political views. Do you use drugs. And even divorced if your parents before you reached adulthood.

The main surprise was the fact that such conclusions can be made EN masse and automatic mode: the method was tested on a sample of 58,000 employees. The program is generally not interested in the contents of the records — it is enough of a list of pages that people liked.

And straight (“if the person is in the community of LGBT activists — perhaps he is gay”) surprisingly do not give so much information, as non-obvious: for example, like the satirical TV show the Colbert Report is an indicator of high IQ, and like Harley-Davidson motorcycles — on the contrary.

We ourselves can make a first impression about someone, read through a dozen of his records on the page in Facebook. If not the age when parents divorced, then at least gender, age and political views it is easy to figure out so in a matter of minutes.

Who is familiar with the person longer, and has is a huge advantage over the robot, analyzing the likes, to the question about his attitude to drugs, religion or sexual orientation.

Circle choose by interests, and all tend about their interests to tell their friends. Muslims are friends with Muslims, monarchists monarchists, gays with gays.

But in addition to these Protocol social characteristics (Christian, heterosexual, the son of divorced parents) there are others who rather describe the “inner world” in its purest form and predict human behavior in different possible emergency situations.

And in the case of “inner peace” even the strong friendship does not guarantee against errors.

Computer, analyzing the behavior in Facebook and left people with their estimates far behind

The online form of points, allowing to evaluate the quality of the person, at the request of the authors filled 86220 volunteers. For 70520 of them are the authors with the help of its programs that analyze the huskies, built a “psychological portraits” — that is, strictly speaking, received a set of the same five numbers that describe the traits from extroversion to neuroticism. What you say and especially like people that are highly open to innovation? TED talks, as well as pages about Salvador Dali and meditation.

In addition, the closest of midst a Facebook friends volunteers sent out another questionnaire. Scientists invited to respond “Yes” or “no” to all three questions. He has frequent mood swings? He is the soul of the company? He likes to order? Some evaluated single friend, and some two. After automatic processing of the responses, the researchers again received characteristics of the person in terms of the “big five”.

The quality of the estimates strongly depended on the type of relationship that stand for friendship in Facebook: spouses average job better neighbors to jointly rent an apartment, and those, in turn, imagine the person much more accurately than his colleagues.

Computer, analyzing the behavior in Facebook and left people with their estimates far behind (and the only one he lost in accuracy at least on a couple of points husbands and wives).

Friends, colleagues and even family based on their life experiences described by friends and relatives is worse than the program for which the person is just a collection of likes.

Photo: Unsplash

The company offered policies dossiers on millions of voters

The scandal with Facebook in 2018 happened not because someone taught artificial intelligence to help in the case of political advertising. Employee Cambridge Analytica spoke to journalists about one of the features of the “online questionnaire”, which the user filled out voluntarily by the order of scientists.

Before the test, revealing the quality of the “big five” (the passage which is perfectly legal volunteers received $ 2-5), they had to go through one formality — click “I agree” below the user agreement which permits program data collection.

Such permission requests almost every test is “What pokemon” or “See how you’re listed in the phone friends” (and not accidentally). Another thing is that in 2014, Facebook policy allowed the app to collect after such consent the of all the friends who consent, of course, is not allowed. 270 thousand completed questionnaires opened the company access to 87 million profiles in Facebook. Most of them are adult residents of the US and Britain, have the right to vote.

And it is with this expanded dossiers on millions of voters — and not with a modest mathematical model — the company offered their services to politicians.

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