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Facebook Ads Could 'Out' Gay Users 196

Posted by timothy
from the i'll-out-gay-you dept.
itwbennett writes "Researchers at Microsoft Research India and the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Germany have written a paper showing that a users may be inadvertently revealing their sexual preference to advertisers. 'One example was an advertisement for a nursing program at a medical college in Florida, which was only shown to gay men. The researchers said that persons seeing the ad would not know that it had been exclusively aimed at them solely based on their sexuality, nor would they realize that clicking on the ad would reveal to the advertiser, by implication, their sexual preference in addition to other information they might expect to be sent, such as their IP (Internet Protocol) address.' For its part, Facebook 'downplayed the study, saying that the site does not pass any personally identifiable information back to an advertiser.'"
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Facebook Ads Could 'Out' Gay Users

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  • Rule number 1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:54PM (#33991674)
    Never put anything on Facebook that you would not tell your parents and your boss.
    • Re:Rule number 1 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:00PM (#33991762)

      Rule number 2: Clicking an ad sends information you didn't know was on your facebook to your parents and your boss.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        You mean your rainbow flag PNG and the photo taken on Sir Ian McKellan's lap didn't give it away? How about that status update: "You GO girl!"

      • by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:13PM (#33991926)

        Clicking an ad turns you gay, according to TFA.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          Clicking an ad turns you gay, according to TFA.

          It's a good thing I turned off the ads here on Slashdot! One accidental click and BAM! I'm gay!

          I don't think I clicked on any ads in the past....

          geeze! I gotta do something about the color scheme in this office! It's just so......oh no.

          • by Hylandr (813770)
            I can see that leading to a torrid gay porn flick ala "28 days later". Bumping butts with an 'infected' individual in turn infects you and the process goes on until everyone is playing robot unicorn attack.

            - Dan.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by kenj0418 (230916)

          Clicking an ad turns you gay.

          I don't think that's what it means when they say malware "installs a backdoor into your system".

        • by pookemon (909195)
          I thought it was the use of Facebook that did that... Or is it that using FB makes you dumb, clicking ads turns you gay.
        • by MRe_nl (306212)

          Clicking an ad turns you gay, unless you're at c:

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Threni (635302)

        Rule number 3 - ad blockers are free. Use them.

      • You knew it was there. You just didn't realize that it might be visible to people you didn't think could see it. Parent applies: don't ever put anything on Facebook that you wouldn't put on the evening news.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by fractoid (1076465)

        Rule number 2: Clicking an ad sends information you didn't know was on your facebook to your parents and your boss.

        Rule number 3: Your parents and your boss are advertising for gay nurses?

    • Re:Rule number 1 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rainmouse (1784278) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:07PM (#33991858)

      Never put anything on Facebook that you would not tell your parents and your boss.

      Being fired for content on my facebook account about my private life is just a labour saving service. It saves me the hassle of having of having to research if I'm working for snooping, big brother dickheads and then quitting.

      • by pspahn (1175617)
        Which these days is pretty much everyone. Self-employment ftw.
      • Re:Rule number 1 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:06PM (#33992458)

        Never put anything on Facebook that you would not tell your parents and your boss.

        Being fired for content on my facebook account about my private life is just a labour saving service. It saves me the hassle of having of having to research if I'm working for snooping, big brother dickheads and then quitting.

        So do you work for a place that drug tests? Because drug tests are not like a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer tests whether you are drunk right now and therefore would be completely appropriate for a workplace. It does not test whether you've had alcohol in the last 1-4 weeks without distinguishing whether you did so on your own time or your employer's time.

        Drug tests, on the other hand, make no attempt to distinguish your employer's paid time from your own private time away from work. The employer's only legitimate concern is whether you are sober while you're on the job. What you do in your private time is between yourself and the state. Yet it lets them be snooping, big brother dickheads and monitor your private time too. Like Facebook, it's a way for them to find out "oh no, you did something we don't approve of, so now we're going to punish you for that." They stupidly do this no matter how productive you are as a worker and even though you, as a professional, maintain a clear separation between your private life and your working life.

        Employment is becoming more and more like running for public office. It is increasingly ruling out all except for two classes of people: the goody two-shoes who never broke a rule in their life because they worship authority with no regard for its legitimacy, and the dangerously deceptive who are very good at living double lives and covering up their tracks. This is not good for society. Some of the wisest and best among us made mistakes and did things they were not proud of before they saw the error of their ways and became better people. The trend now is for every little thing, including victimless crimes, to become a permanent stigma that forever closes doors in your life.

        One other related topic. Why is there even such a thing as an arrest record? I can understand a conviction record, but an arrest record? Really? What kind of fascist wet dream is that? Fascists just love thought processes like "well, he must have been doing SOMETHING wrong even though the state with its overwhelming resources couldn't come up with evidence of that" as though the police are omniscient and never make mistakes, as though false accusations are never made. Really fascists love any reason to turn someone else into a second-class citizen, especially if that person has done them no harm and has no ill intent.

        What REALLY amuses me is the sheer irony of those who would enforce their Puritannical beliefs on others at every opportunity because the person did something that offends their "Christian values" while forgetting that anyone who has ever actually read the words of Christ knows that Jesus's main teachings were forgiveness and non-judgement. It's not only Christians who do this, of course. There are many secular fascists. It's just extra ironic when people who call themselves Christian display such hypocrisy to cover up their authoritarian eagerness to condemn.

      • reserved for those who can find a job in this climate if fired.

      • Because if I add my boss to Facebook and then call him names and say how I hate my job on my wall (something that he has to see if he used Facebook regularly) then he did something wrong?

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Never put anything on Facebook that you would not tell your parents and your boss."

      Never put anything on the internet you wouldn't post on 4chan.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fabioalcor (1663783)

      Never put anything on Facebook that you would not tell your parents and your boss.

      ... and your wife/girlfriend and your kids and and your friends and your enemies ...

  • by bhartman34 (886109) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:56PM (#33991698)

    The ads were served to males who declared themselves to be interested in other males, and females who declared themselves to be interested in other females.

    Exactly where is the problem here? The users are outing themselves. Shouldn't this be filed under, "...and water is wet"?

    • by corbettw (214229)

      The problem is that, if you click on the ad, now the advertiser has a record of who's gay and who's straight (the study showed that variants of the ad were displayed to users based on their gender and orientation). Just because it's on your Facebook status, doesn't mean you want the whole world to know.

      • by bhartman34 (886109) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:05PM (#33991838)

        If it's on your Facebook status, and you don't have it covered with restrictive privacy settings, you de facto do want the world to know.

        I'm all for privacy being respected, but if you put something out there, and don't take the proper precautions that it be hidden if you want it to be, it's on you, not on Facebook. They can't make it much easier to control who sees what. The kind of concerns being raised here were valid maybe a year ago.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          It's on facebook the moment that claim it's private.

          • by bhartman34 (886109) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:44PM (#33992214)
            I think you're misunderstanding something. You can make sexual preference private, or not. Hell, you don't even have to disclose your preference, if you don't want to. Now, if advertisers are somehow getting around people's privacy preferences, and accessing that information without it being public, that's certainly a Facebook problem, but I don't see anywhere in TFA where it says that.

            The only problem I see in the article is that advertisers aren't supposed to be using sensitive demographic information (sex, gender, presumably sexual preference) to do the targeting. But that's already a violation of Facebook's policies. Facebook should deal with that, I suppose, but even if they do nothing, users can still control what advertisers see. If sexual preference is the kind of information you consider to be only your (or your friends') business, you should configure your profile appropriately. At best, the researchers are causing a tempest in a teapot. There's a fairly easy fix that anyone can implement, without Facebook having to do anything.

        • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:25PM (#33992022) Journal

          It's not even an issue with privacy settings though. I just read this part of the summary and went, "uhh, well yeah, duh!"

          The researchers said that persons seeing the ad would not know that it had been exclusively aimed at them solely based on their sexuality, nor would they realize that clicking on the ad would reveal to the advertiser, by implication, their sexual preference in addition to other information they might expect to be sent, such as their IP (Internet Protocol) address.

          So essentially, if you had been on any site, and you clicked on the advertisement from any website, your IP address would get sent so that you can be redirected from the adserver to the website. (This is how they know the Ads are working, if it was a direct link to the website, the adserver wouldn't be the proper referer). So now the adserver has your IP and will use BY IMPLICATION your sexual preferences. Seriously, this doesn't even DEAL with Facebook.

          So the question is whether the ad is being shown to them based on their information - whether Facebook is giving up the information in the first place. Now thats a big doozy. It hasn't been proven, but its highly suspected. I would normally think that Adservers are catering to me based on my IP, but I've had other people use my computer and its shocking how the ads immediately cater to them after starting a facebook session.

          Then there's this juicy nugget.

          For its part, Facebook 'downplayed the study, saying that the site does not pass any personally identifiable information back to an advertiser

          Emphasis mine. Well - no, it's not sending it BACK to the adserver, the adserver hasn't made a request yet. Facebook says to itself "I need to load a page. There's going to be an advertisement here. Hey advertising server, here's who is lookin'" and the Adserver serves up the correct ads.

          Devil's in the details, right?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by corbettw (214229)

          Did you not read the article? This was information that was marked as private, but obviously is not. That's the problem.

          • This was information that was marked as private, but obviously is not. That's the problem.

            Did you read the article? Nowhere does TFA say that the information was culled from people who'd marked their sexual preference as private. All the article said was that the users didn't know why the ads were served to them, because that wasn't disclosed. It also said that it's against Facebook policy to target users based on "sensitive" demographic information (age, gender, and presumably sexual preference). If the article had said that sexual preference was hidden by the users, that would be worth a s

        • by russotto (537200)

          If it's on your Facebook status, and you don't have it covered with restrictive privacy settings, you de facto do want the world to know.

          But this can happen regardless of your privacy settings. You set your profile to include the fact that you are gay. You make that private, and manage to keep it private no matter how many times they change things. But the fact that it's private doesn't mean advertisers can't target ads based on it. So the advertisers set up an ad which doesn't look like it has anythi

          • But this can happen regardless of your privacy settings. You set your profile to include the fact that you are gay. You make that private, and manage to keep it private no matter how many times they change things. But the fact that it's private doesn't mean advertisers can't target ads based on it.

            Do you have a source for that information? The article doesn't say that advertisers are targeting private information, or that they can see private information.

          • The example in the article of a nursing program, for instance : perhaps anyone who applied to the program via THAT ad would be rejected out of hand.

            So they're going to spend money on an advertising campaign to solicit applications from.. people they don't want as clients?

            What?

          • Uh... The ad was for a nursing school....

        • So if your options are set not to display a profile field to people other than your friends, does that also mean Facebook will not use it in targeted advertising?

        • "If it's on your Facebook status, and you don't have it covered with restrictive privacy settings"

          I thought that (at least, I heard they used to) Facebook sold some of your personal information no matter if you had them hidden with 'privacy' settings or not. Is that not true?

      • Just because it's on your Facebook status, doesn't mean you want the whole world to know.

        see what you did there? kinda contradicted yourself. if you post something on a site that's ABOUT sharing information with the world, (that openly has told people that several times) and only pretends to keep information private so people will stop thinking about it: it's public.

        as much as people want to keep secrets, they seem to be really REALLY -REALLY- fucking bad at it. if you want to keep your preferences a secret: don't post them in "a secret corner of the internet"... there are none.

        and for t

      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:48PM (#33993106) Homepage Journal
        "Just because it's on your Facebook status, doesn't mean you want the whole world to know." Wait. (looks ^ at address bar) It says yro.slahsdot.org up there. Damn, I thought maybe it was portal.twilight.zone or some such. DAMMIT man! Have you been paying attention, or not? EVERYTHING ON FACEBOOK is accessibly by anyone with the will to snoop. It doesn't even require much skill - just the will to snoop. One more time: if it's on the intartubez, it ain't private. Go to the blackboard, and write that one thousand times for the class, please.
        • by shentino (1139071)

          Does that also count if you get hacked?

          • Define "get hacked". Were you socially engineered? Or, did someone spend the time and effort to try logging into your account with every combination of passwords possible? Or - did someone exploit a weakness in Facebook? Actually, yes, it applies no matter what. If you have an account, and you specify your gender, and people find out that you actually have a gender, no surprise. If you specify that you are a gender bender, and people find out that you are bending genders, again, no surprise. If you s
        • by drsmithy (35869)

          "Just because it's on your Facebook status, doesn't mean you want the whole world to know." Wait. (looks ^ at address bar) It says yro.slahsdot.org up there. Damn, I thought maybe it was portal.twilight.zone or some such. DAMMIT man! Have you been paying attention, or not? EVERYTHING ON FACEBOOK is accessibly by anyone with the will to snoop. It doesn't even require much skill - just the will to snoop. One more time: if it's on the intartubez, it ain't private. Go to the blackboard, and write that one thou

    • I've never been a paranoid one, and even in this case I don't think it's a *huge* deal (it's certainly a deal, but not a huge one), but I think what they are getting at is that this gives them the ability to connect the dots. Say you have an ad for a job opening that is only shown to gay people. User clicks said ad, and is sent to a specific entry point which can be recorded. User proceeds to apply for job. I'm not sure that this can cause much damage... if they weren't looking for gay people they wouldn't

      • Exactly, and this is different than "Joe likes Red Cars" because it starts tying in a preference that has social implications.

        • by hedwards (940851) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:13PM (#33991928)
          I'm not aware of anybody being raped for liking red cars. Being raped for being gay, definitely happens. Because clearly gay men are just confused, it couldn't possibly be for other reasons.

          Which is really your point. Given the degree amount amount of homophobic bigotry and violence, I'm not really sure that FB should be facilitating anything like this. Plus, is there really a legitimate reason to be advertising things which aren't gay specific to only gays? I mean I can understand targeting gay bars to gay men, but nursing school?
      • Sure, but I think this is a problem on the user end. It doesn't have anything to do with Facebook, per se. If a user is paranoid about it, they can hide their preferences from non-friends or simply not disclose it.

        I'm not saying people don't have a cause to be cautious about what to disclose to whom. I'm just saying that it looks to me like Facebook gives you all the tools you need to avoid disclosing things you don't want to disclose to strangers.

        • Has nothing to do with your privacy settings. It has everything to do with clicking on an ad that only a member of a targeted group can see. If you can click on the ad, you must be a member of the target group.

          • The issue is how the person displaying the ad knows you're a member of the targeted group. It's my understanding that they can only know it if you display it publicly on your profile. If that's not the case, then that's different, but I haven't yet read anything to convince me otherwise.
      • I'm sure paranoid people wouldn't like it. But paranoid people have the option of either hiding their sexual preference or omitting it altogether. It's not required information, and it's not information that's required to be public.
        • by causality (777677)

          I'm sure paranoid people wouldn't like it. But paranoid people have the option of either hiding their sexual preference or omitting it altogether. It's not required information, and it's not information that's required to be public.

          There's that word again. Please see this post [slashdot.org]. I'd be interested in your feedback.

          • I was using paranoid in the layman, common usage sense. I'm certainly not saying that someone worried about their Facebook settings has a clinical mental disorder. In fact, I was only using the word because LBArrettAnderson used it in his post responding to my original post. If you'd rather use the phrase "security-conscious", that's fine by me.
      • by causality (777677) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:32PM (#33992640)

        but I can definitely see paranoid people not liking this (and I'm not saying they are wrong in feeling this way, just that I'm not quite as paranoid).

        I really don't know what has happened in the last several years. The desire that people not know information that is none of their business is suddenly described as "paranoid", a term for a medical disorder. This is absolutely bass-ackwards. In fact, it's downright pathological and a great example of Newspeak. It so clearly serves those who wish to deny privacy that it's bordering on the miraculous that most people don't notice. Really, only large masses of people could be so stupid/blind/oblivious/whatever you want to call it.

        I say we turn the tables. Let's stop using words like "paranoid" to describe people who want random strangers to leave them alone. Instead, let's choose a word that's the inverse of "paranoid" to describe the asshats who intrude into the lives of others and then claim that data as their own to use as they please. I tentatively suggest "Orwellian" but am open to suggestion. Maybe Panopticonians would work, except that fewer than six syllables would be a plus.

    • by bieber (998013)
      The issue is that you could have your information set to private, but it will still be used by Facebook's advertising system to determine who to show ads to. So while a potential employer may not be able to look you up on Facebook and find out that you're gay, they could find out that you had clicked on an advertisement that had been served exclusively to gay users (although the ad may not have indicated in any way that it was only targeted at homosexuals). It's an awfully sneaky way to get around privacy
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have had gay targeted ads show up on my facebook before. It has been awhile though. My sexual preference is left blank, but I must have an unusually high percentage of gay male friends. I'm out to most people so it didn't out me or anything, but it was kind of scary that it could correctly guess my sexual preference.

  • We're on to you...

  • soooo..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dthief (1700318) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:57PM (#33991710)
    outed by clicking on stereotypically "gay" ads......what do you expect.....you do things labeled as gay, or follow things labeled as "gays' interests" and people will assume you are gay.

    Plus the ads were targeted at people whose profiles explicitly said they were gay, so how was anyone/any fake profile "outed"

    • by geekoid (135745)

      If only someone would write an article explaining what the problem is...~

    • That's two fierce posts so far which are doing the "narrow interpretation of the facts" thing.

      The thing is, maybe you outed yourself under one site, maybe even a pseudonym, you get served a certain ad. That advertiser sells that site's user info to its other marketing partners. Except because the user entered their info to something else, and now that ad ring has a preference attached to that email address anywhere on the net.

      This is seriously in "well *this time* they restricted it to openly declared profi

    • Re:soooo..... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:11PM (#33991904)

      No, you don't understand. Facebook has a policy saying they won't disclose personal info, like what age you are.

      Now, suppose an advertiser says "target this ad at people born in October of 1978" ... Facebook says "OK". So all of these people's birth months are revealed to the advertiser, in violation of the policy. Thru essentially costless micro-targeting, advertisers (or any attacker with $) can dig out whatever info they want. There's a simple and obvious way for an attacker to get a list of people based on a piece of information Facebook has said they're keeping private.

      There is a big difference between someone clicking on an ad for, say, a gay-dating site -- when you click on an ad, you know you are implicitly signaling some level of interest in its content to the advertiser -- and clicking on an ad (*any* ad, it could be for a car or for dog food ... the content of the ad could have *nothing* to do with the audience targeting) that happens to be targeted based on a specific database query.

      If a piece of information is promised to be kept private, private should not equal "disclosed to third parties who pay us."

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        To be honest, I think you're burying the lead, here. The real question is, why the hell is Facebook sending the id of users who click on ads back to the advertiser? If the goal is to track unique clicks, you could just as easily hash the id before sending it on, thus disconnecting that id from the fb account itself.

        • It is the old HTTP referer leakage problem.

          When you click on any link on any site, the browser sends the URL that the link was found as part of the HTTP request for the linked page. This is useful to webmasters as they can see who is linking to them. This becomes a problem, however, if the URL contains private information encoded into it.

          For example, when you are logged into facebook, the URL of the site contains your user id. Thus any* website that is linked from your facebook page will see your user id wh

    • by pspahn (1175617)

      Sorry for stereotyping, but it's like the way a lot of them speak. They sound gay. Why exactly is that? Is it because they want to speak that way or is it some kind of genetic thing? Seriously.

      • by compro01 (777531)

        AFAICT, the "gay lisp" appears to either be a myth or is a regional thing. None of the gay men I know exhibit it in the slightest.

  • by Dayofswords (1548243) on Friday October 22, 2010 @06:59PM (#33991738)

    [...]such as their IP (Internet Protocol) address.

    If you don't know what IP stands for in 'IP address' then you're on the wrong site.

  • This just in... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:01PM (#33991792)
    Facebook makes money by data mining its users.
  • by Khopesh (112447) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:11PM (#33991910) Homepage Journal

    A year ago, some MIT undergrads wrote up a short piece called Project Gaydar [boston.com] which showcased how they were able to successfully identify gay men who were still in the closet.

    Facebook might not expose this information directly (via the "sexual preferences" profile information), but your friends list is enough to extrapolate it. Since there's money in that kind of data and it is easily fetched via the Facebook API, it's being done.

    • by pspahn (1175617)

      From the article you cited:

      The two students had no way of checking all of their predictions,

      Sounds like they didn't actually "successfully identify gay men" to me.

  • FB just totally came out of the closet and everybody has missed the point. Can a website even be gay? Isn't that just a matter of improperly coding the API?
  • by Anonymous Showered (1443719) on Friday October 22, 2010 @07:48PM (#33992270)

    Facebook DOES pass personally identifiable information, albeit inadvertently.

    As a Facebook Ads user, I have tracked down people who have clicked my ads EASILY.

    How?

    Your unique Facebook user ID is passed through the refer string each and every time you click on an ad.

    Simply copy down this ID and paste it in the USERID variable below.

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=USERID [facebook.com]

    Tada.

  • Said I was interested in men rather than that I was a man. So I got some really really gay targeted ads. Gay dating services, special razors to shave with, all very fun. Try it and see.
    The real issue is that the current terms of service allows yhem to share your groups and interests, which likely can identify you as being close to the GLBC.

     

  • by microbee (682094) on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:21PM (#33992560)

    I sometimes hang out on a web forum, and they have a special forum where you could post anonymously - it's not really anonymous, as you still need to login and post, but the postings do not show your user id or IP addresses, so it appears totally anonymous, except to the web admins. So people post a lot of random crazy stuff there which would embarrass themselves if it had not been anonymous.

    Then one day the forum upgraded their software, and due to a bug, all posts inside that anonymous forum suddenly showed all user IDs - including the old ones. That quickly turned into a sh*tstorm as people ran around screaming in panic with their underwear.

    The lesson: do not post anything if you don't want others to find out it's you.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:27AM (#33994024) Journal

      Then one day the forum upgraded their software, and due to a bug, all posts inside that anonymous forum suddenly showed all user IDs - including the old ones. That quickly turned into a sh*tstorm as people ran around screaming in panic with their underwear.

      Oh, to do that with Slashdot and watch the fun.

      Actually *checks the mental post history* um, never mind that.

      • by rdnetto (955205)

        IIRC, /. is actually designed not to store the details of which user made the post. It got mentioned when they took down a post because the CoS threatened to sue.

    • by initialE (758110)

      afaik the only forum that truly allows anonymity coupled with verifiability (that is to say nobody can impersonate your online personality) are the 2ch-style boards, including 4chan. For those who don't know, you can key in any nickname you want when posting, but trailing that is an encrypted hash of whatever password you attached to it - therefore no 2 people can post using the same nick. No registration, no verification emails, no password, no mothers maiden name.

  • Wait, what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday October 22, 2010 @08:38PM (#33992686) Homepage

    Are male nurses required to be gay?

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by guyminuslife (1349809) on Friday October 22, 2010 @09:18PM (#33992912)

      Yeah, exactly. This is why we have a national shortage of nurses. It's because straight men don't want to go into a profession where their job title is the same as the word for "have a baby suck milk form your boobs." On the other hand, there's no shortage of male "paramedics."

      • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by guyminuslife (1349809) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:39AM (#33994566)

        I don't get the funny mod. I was being 100% serious. Nursing isn't a "manly" enough field, there's a social stigma (albeit, a shrinking one) attached to being a "male nurse," so many men who would otherwise be talented at it shy away; this has caused real shortages in healthcare.

        Ideally speaking, there should be more women in engineering as well, but fortunately for current engineers' supply/demand curve, there aren't.

  • "....saying that the site does not pass any personally identifiable information back to an advertiser.'"
    ....Unless there's money involved.
    ];)
  • Facebook's massive failure re privacy is pretty much the status quo, no need to rehash that.

    However, let's presume a person treats their sexual status as something super secret, worthy of protection. You know, so secret that at the very least, they keep it from their general "real-world" social network, if not their closest friends and family. This involves care: watching how they talk, walk, dress, and who they associate with. Yet when it comes to websites run by strangers they're more than willing to let

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I just looked at my FB profile, and I don't see where they even ask for my sexual orientation. Do they infer it from people's relationship status or something?

  • I see no adverts...
  • Isn't that like trying to out-troll ACs on Slashdot?

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