Gender Detection Software To Nail The Fakes

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Gender Detection Software To Nail The Fakes

Post by Atheist-Lite » Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:20 pm

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2 ... ogger.html

Gender-spotting tool could have rumbled fake blogger

Software that guesses a writer's gender could have prevented the world being duped into believing a blog that opposed the Syrian government and was striking out for gay rights was written by a young lesbian living in the country.

It turned out the author of the blog, "Gay Girl in Damascus", was a man – something the online gender checker would have picked up on. When New Scientist fed the text of the last blog post into the software, it said that the author was 63.2 per cent likely to be male.

Developed by Na Cheng and colleagues at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, the ever-improving software could soon be revealing the gender of online writers – whether they are blogging, emailing, writing on Facebook or tweeting. The team say the software could help protect children from grooming by predators who conceal their gender online.

The fake blog highlights the problem of people masking their identity online. The truth about Amina Abdullah only emerged when the blogger disappeared, supposedly snatched by militiamen.

Online contacts realised that none of them had ever met Amina, and it turned out her blog photo had been stolen from a Facebook page. Then a 40-year-old American, Tom MacMaster living in Edinburgh, UK, confessed that he had been writing the blog all along.

(continued)
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Re: Gender Detection Software To Nail The Fakes

Post by CP » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:35 am

63.2 per cent isn't detecting someone's gender, it's almost a coin flip in terms of certainty. Anybody willing to believe a 63.2 per cent probability given by a dubious gender checking program over a human being that appears to have all the information and no obvious reason to lie is an idiot who would be right in this circumstance by accident.

Some gender checkers flag me as male, some as female. I don't trust them.
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Re: Gender Detection Software To Nail The Fakes

Post by Atheist-Lite » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:46 am

CP wrote:63.2 per cent isn't detecting someone's gender, it's almost a coin flip in terms of certainty. Anybody willing to believe a 63.2 per cent probability given by a dubious gender checking program over a human being that appears to have all the information and no obvious reason to lie is an idiot who would be right in this circumstance by accident.

Some gender checkers flag me as male, some as female. I don't trust them.
Context matters. On it's own it means nothing - if there is other evidence of deception then it becomes pertinent? :spock:
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Re: Gender Detection Software To Nail The Fakes

Post by nellikin » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:18 am

I've never been through a gender detector but I'm pretty certain I'd come up male. :hole:

Actually, perhaps Ratz could get one - then I may be able to finally figure out who's what around here. :biggrin:
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