Information Flows in You — And Your Friends

Machine & deep learning applications in social media are going strong. After all, with the plethora of data available, there are just so many possibilities for business and research! Concurrently, more and more users of social media think about quitting it altogether, mostly because of privacy concerns. Yet a recent paper, which I covered in this article, showed that nearly all of your information is still available even after you’ve deleted your last social media account. How? Blame your friends.

Information about you latently resides in your friends. You may have imprinted your interests on them. You may have gathered disparate people, sharing a common interest, in your social group. The more you posted (and the fewer posts your friends make) the more information about you is carried by your social network. The authors of this paper use information theory to ascertain this information retention after an individual quits social media and I have to admit it’s equal parts fascinating and disconcerting. Have a look at the linked article to find out more about how they did it, what it means and some caveats!

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