Facebook turns over US data to politicians

Social not-working site Facebook is giving detailed personal data to the political research outfit Politico.

The partnership will mean that Politico will be able to compile sentiment analysis reports and voting-age user surveys.

Facebook’s US users’ private status messages and comments will be sent to Politico where they will be analysed for political content and spat out into stories like this one.

Both the social notworking site and Politico say the entire process is automated and no Facebook employees read the posts.

Each public and private comment that mentions a presidential candidate’s name will be fed through a sentiment analysis tool that spits out anonymised measures of the general US Facebook population.

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

How any personal post can be sufficiently anonymous is anyone’s guess but if you want to really stuff things up, write all your posts so that a machine is unable to work out your real meaning. Sticking the names of both rivals in equal numbers should annoy the bean counters.