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Will also analyze demographic data in run-up to South Carolina primary

Last week, Facebook and Politico announced a partnership that would gather Facebook user posts deemed "political" by an algorithm for further study by Politico.

Politico is an Arlington, Va.-based newspaper and media outlet that hopes to use Facebook's wealth of user data to measure opinions of Republican presidential hopefuls.

"Politico has joined forces with Facebook to offer readers an exclusive look at the conversation taking place on the social networking site about the Republican presidential candidates ahead of South Carolina’s crucial primary on Jan. 21," the website analyzing the first round of data reads.

The move puts a spotlight on privacy, a subject to which Facebook is no stranger [1] [2] , amid concerns that the data is culled from users' private posts. Both companies claim the data remains private, and that no employee of either company will read posts. Rather, user data is processed through a "sentiment analysis tool." Every post mentioning a presidential candidate will be subject to the tool and compiled to illustrate broader national sentiment.

Politico will also have access to demographic information, including age and location.

"Facebook has been instrumental in expanding the political dialogue among voters and we couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to offer our readers a look inside this very telling conversation," Politico editor John F. Harris tells Mashable.

The techniques in the venture have been compared to Google's reports on search trends based on aggregate activity.

Sources: All Things D, Forbes

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RE: Zuckered again
By JimboK29 on 1/16/2012 8:49:53 AM , Rating: 2
Facebook is a service for connecting with friends

That is exactly what they want you to think. Do some of your own research on what they are doing, you might be surprised.

RE: Zuckered again
By JasonMick on 1/16/2012 10:16:13 AM , Rating: 3
That is exactly what they want you to think. Do some of your own research on what they are doing, you might be surprised.

I just think it's funny the differential "precious child" status Facebook is given due to the fact that people love its service.

The majority of American adults are on Facebook. More Americans use Facebook than Google. Aside from Microsoft there is no equivalent in terms of ubiquity in the American business world.

Now can you imagine the shitstorm that would occur if Microsoft announced it was going to be "anonymously" collecting data from your Windows computer to analyze what you might be voting?

I'm typically against government regulation of business on any grounds, but I think as a free thinker you can not be constrained by your preferred business model. I think that any service that's used by virtually all members of given nation (say the U.S. highway system) needs to be reasonably regulated to protect privacy and safety.

My hope is that states carry out this regulation, both as federal regulation schemes tend to bloat the cost to the taxpayer and because the Constitution says these kinds of responsibilities should be reserved for the states... I also hope that such regulation is formulated by invididuals with reasonable technical expertise (or by the retention of such experts) so as not to make poorly informed decisions that make the problem worse...

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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