Your Online Activity Is Now Effectively A Social ‘Credit Score’

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Written by Ann Brown
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Is your online presence really representative of who you are? Well, it seems the social media giants are now analyzing “you” from your online behavior. ThinkStockPhotos

Are you what you post online? Is your online presence really representative of who you are? Well, it seems the social media giants are now analyzing “you” from your online behavior.

Airbnb has developed something called “trait analyzer” algorithms and it compiles data dossiers on users. Airbnb is relying on the trait analyzer to decide whether potential guests/hosts have been bad or good. The program actually scores people, and will then “flag and investigate suspicious activity before it happens.”

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According to an Evening Standard report, Airbnb’s patent for AI culls through everything it can find on you online, “including social media for traits such as ‘conscientiousness and openness’ against the usual credit and identity checks and what it describes as ‘secure third-party databases’.”

In short, the Airbnb technology conducts background checks and evaluates the users’ reliability, compatibility, behavioral, and personality traits.

“Personalities like ‘neuroticism and involvement in crimes’ and ‘narcissism, Machiavellianism, or psychopathy’ are ‘perceived as untrustworthy,’” Artificial Intelligence reported.

“Trooly — nee Airbnb — is combining social credit scores with predictive policing. Tools like PredPol use AI that combines data points and historical events, factors like race and location, digital footprints and crime statistics, to predict the likelihood of when and where crimes will occur (as well as victims and perpetrators). It’s no secret that predictive policing replicates and perpetuates discrimination,” Engadget reported.

Airbnb isn’t the only platform using online traits to analyze users. AP reported that Facebook and Instagram are doing the same. They have closed accounts over so-called “sexual” traits. Facebook has been cracking down on nudity on its site, without really looking closely at the content.

“At the same time, it’s been retooling its policies on nudity. It’s tweaking its original heavy-handed policies to account for modern nuances around gender identity, political speech and self-expression, employing thousands of people and quickly evolving artificial intelligence for the task. But some of its users — including activists, sex therapists, abuse survivors, artists, and sex educators — say policies at Facebook and its Instagram service are still too vague and unevenly enforced. They say their work is being unfairly censored, condemning them to ‘Facebook jail’ with no warning and little, if any recourse,” USA Today reported.