Dangers of Facebook 'likes' - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Dangers of Facebook 'likes'

Employers are tracking what you like on Facebook. (Source: WOIO) Employers are tracking what you like on Facebook. (Source: WOIO)
(WOIO) - We've talked about how your posts on Facebook could hurt your chances of getting a new job, or keeping the one you have. But now employers are going one step further. They're looking at the posts you click like for, and it's hurt some great candidates.

Whether it's a Facebook video of a cat jumping through snow, or a photo of a dwarf planet 250 million miles away, clicking the "like" button may cost you your next job.

"We had the resume, which was polished within an inch of its life."

Peter Maulik says social media activity has completely changed the way he screens potential employees for his consulting firm Fahrenheit212.

"The resume, while still useful, is often retrospective. So what we use is the LinkedIn, all the social media outlets, information that is out there to give us a more holistic perspective of the individual."

Stanford professor Michal Kosinski wants to take the screening process a step further by using a computer model to predict personality traits by analyzing what someone "likes" on Facebook.

"The surprising thing is when you combine you liking Lady Gaga, you liking some books, movies or comments, we can extract something more than that," Kosinski says.

Based on the 86,000 Facebook users who participated in the study, the model concluded people who like Shakespeare and 2001: A Space Odyssey were more artistic. People who liked Ford Motor or Rush Limbaugh were more conventional. Liking boxing was a sign of being organized. People who liked vampires were more spontaneous. 

The data collection is being tested through a website called Apply-Magic Sauce. Right now, users have to give permission to allow access to their Facebook pages.

"If it gives us a better sense of who this person is, it's hugely valuable," says Maulik.

Privacy experts say they're concerned about the technology. But researchers point out that most of our activity on social media is already public and it's not hard to predict how one feels when they casually click the "like" button.

Click here if you want to see what your liking history says about you.
 
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