The one with the rainbow photos on Facebook is a social survey

If you’ve taken a survey before, you might be surprised to see that some of the questions only have two response options. It is true that the ability to understand people’s behavior can be questioned from such simple questions and not permeable to nuance, but in a holistic sense. these surveys have statistical utility.

Strange as it may seem, the fact that many people find themselves in the situation of having to choose one or the other answer makes it possible to establish profiles, to study which variables influence this decision and to know largely why. it is chosen. Either answer.

The rainbow photos on Facebook could be a social survey

We recently witnessed another phenomenon that could be interpreted as a type of social research: the option apply a rainbow filter on the profile picture used on Facebook.

This move, which was linked to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage (by the way, a day before something similar happened in Mexico without so much fuss) is embodied in an option to automatically edit the profile picture that many regular people in the social network had to accept or reject. Does this situation seem to you? Yes, this is virtually the same context in which questions from a questionnaire or online survey are presented.

Why did Facebook want to study this sort of thing?

Well, in fact the question should be: Why should I not want to study? Facebook is an endless source of information for research based on data mining, as the social network is made up of millions of people who, minute by minute, download texts, photographs and reports that are easily analyzed by a computer system. . The potential is incredible and virtually unattainable.

See, for example, the usefulness of Mark Zuckerberg’s invention for establishing personality models, as we have seen in this article.

Of particular interest, however, is the possibility of painting the profile photo. Using the rainbow will rarely be the result of boredom, light decisions, or the simple desire to pretend to have an open mind. Also in the middle of the 21st century, supporting the equality of all people regardless of their sexual preferences takes a revolutionary, almost controversial position, and can have detrimental effects on anyone who decides to make their defense of these values ​​visible.

Discussions, defamatory comments in the back, family problems … face for equality and everything always comes out for free. therefore, the decision to apply the rainbow filter or not will eventually be approached from a more in-depth analysis than that which leads to placing a loop in favor of victims of terrorism or an avatar linked to the type music you like. In addition, the LGBT Flag it’s known internationally, so anyone who filters it out will attribute a similar meaning to it. The same will happen to anyone who sees it.

Possible points of interest

Finally, the data extracted with a single click to modify their profile can be used to, among other things, create statistical models that allow you to see:

  • How much do people face with same-sex marriage? they do this influenced by the number of Facebook friends who do the same.
  • How the fact that the filter has been placed affects the appearance of conflicts or the deterioration of links (Indirectly measurable through the number of interactions with others via Facebook and the frequency with which people click the “stop being friends” option in the weeks after applying the filter.
  • The type of people who put the filter, Whoever does not put it on, and studies his interactions on Facebook.
  • The relationship between all these variables and political preferences recorded on Facebook, inclination for certain brands, etc.

… and many other possibilities, as many response and interaction options offered by the social network.

This is not a crazy possibility, considering that everything we do is no longer private the moment you enter Facebook and companies are perfectly able to pay for all kinds of information and, moreover, , this also applies to studies in social psychology and custom sociology. In fact, there is already a very similar precedent.

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