“Politicians don’t need social media to manipulate people,” he says.“Take the First World War where politicians convinced millions of people to literally go and die for no good reason.” But that doesn’t mean Facebook hasn’t changed everything.I decided the old thread was outdated and badly written, so I went through every cast member to try and find where they are now.
Professor Michal Kosinski is famous for two things: pioneering research that – if you believe the hype – put Trump in the White House and took Britain out of Europe, and being offered a job and threatened with a lawsuit by Facebook on the very same day.
The study made it all the more clear you could psychologically profile a person based on their online activity, which lead to the threat and offer from Facebook – of which neither came to fruition – and Kosinski’s notoriety.
The theory goes that by profiling a person from their online activity (not just Facebook likes, which went private shortly after Kosinski published his research), campaigners can then target, or manipulate, a person using that information.
Individual differences in personality affect users’ online activities as much as they do in the offline world.
This work, based on a sample of over a third of a million users, examines how users’ behaviour in the online environment, captured by their website choices and Facebook profile features, relates to their personality, as measured by the standard Five Factor Model personality questionnaire.