Thoughts on: ‘Everybody Lies – Big Data, New Day and What the Internet Can Tell Us Who We Really Are’

The premise of this book is that big data is destined to have a big impact on social sciences. By analyzing millions of peoples behavior online we get access to data is not just new, it’s honest. It shows things previously hidden and private.

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The research presented in this book is based on Google searches and PornHub data. What’s so special about these sources and compared to, let’s say, Facebook or survey data? People tend to lie to surveys and on Facebook to look good. This is called social desirability bias. But in our google searches on the other hand we tend to tell the truth about or worries, insecurities and hidden desires.

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📝 “Don’t trust what people tell you, trust what people do.”

People say they want to listen to the news in the morning, but what they really want to do is watch midget porn.

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📝 Newspaper owners don’t try to indoctrinate people with their political views as much as they just give people what they want. The political climate in the area dictates what kind of paper is dominating. No conspiracy, just capitalism!

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📝 “Great body, great sex, great blowjob” may be the most viewed pornographic clip on the internet. The Gangnam style of porn! Not as shared on social media, though. 😎

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📝 Horrible searches in not likely to lead to horrible actions.

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📝 Before 2010 women was looking to get a smaller butts, but in 2010 the trend reversed. Now searches are about getting a bigger butt. Thanks, Kim Kardashian…

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📝 Social media post: my husband is amazing!

Google search: is my husband gay?

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What I really loved about the book is the many the examples of counterintuitive conclusions derived from people searches. Also the possibility “big data” is presenting in teaching us more about the human psyche, especially on topics that are so sensitive we tend to lie about them (even in anonymous surveys).

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4/5

Photo credit: @relentlessreader

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