New Twitter Algorithm Could Out Guys Pretending to Be Lesbians

Anonymous tweeters may have just become a little less anonymous. Researchers have put together an algorithm that can predict the gender of a tweeter based solely on the 140 characters they choose to tweet. Of course, determining the gender of an Internet personality has its monetary benefits for Twitter. "Marketing is one of the major motivators here, adding that he had heard talk that Twitter was internally working on similar demographically identifying algorithms internally," linguist Delip Rao told Fast Company's David Zax. But it could also help identify phonies misrepresenting themselves. Like, say, older men pretending to be lesbian bloggers. Remember when the Gay Girl in Damascus revealed himself as a middle-aged man from Georgia?

The crux of the research relies on the idea that women use language differently. "The mere fact of a tweet containing an exclamation mark or a smiley face meant that odds were a woman was tweeting, for instance," reports Zax. Other research corroborates these findings, finding that women tend to use emoticons, abbreviations, repeated letters and expressions of affection. Linguists can even detect the tweeters' true identities by how they use the word "my." If you're trying to determine the gender of your favorite Twitterati, the following charts show some markers of woman and man-like Twitter behaviors.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Technology

Just In