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Psycho Twitter, Qu'est Que C'est

Study attempts to spot psychotics via tweet analysis.

by Adam Clark Estes
Jul 23 2012, 3:27pm

It’s easy to draw conclusions about someone’s personality based on how they tweet. Everyone knows who the self promotional tweeters are, the ones that always want you to read something they wrote or back their Kickstarter campaign. We appreciate the pensive tweeters who send out interesting links or the hypersocial ones who love their hashtags. Then there are sort of crazy people on Twitter. We all know one or two of these.

Thanks to a free iPad contest and some sophisticated machine learning technology, researchers can now spot psychopaths on Twitter based on their speech patterns. A team from Florida Atlantic University recently teamed up with the Online Privacy Foundation and Kaggle, a platform for data prediction competitions, to analyze over three million tweets from 2,927 tweeters in 80 countries. Each of the participants agreed to have her Twitter data — everything from tweets sent to retweets and replies to Klout scores — scrutinized by data scientists who compared everything against the findings of a Cornell study from last year that scrutinized the speech patterns of psychopaths. (One lucky participant won an iPad.) The researchers plan to present their findings at Def Con this week.

Read the rest over at Motherboard.