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Research Reveals Ways to Identify Dangerous People on Twitter

person using twitter on a cell phone
Cameron Spencer, Getty Images

You might think you can distinguish between civil society and the dance of a maniac just by gazing into the hollow, unstable color of a person’s eyes, but a new study finds that it is actually a person’s Twitter account that tells the haunting tale of the mental defective.

Researchers at the London Online Privacy Foundation recently conducted a study to determine how social media can measure personality traits that could be used to help authorities detect possible threatening behavior, as well as help employers with making better hiring decisions.

What they found was that people who use swear words in their tweets, as well as words like “die,” “kill” and “bury” were more likely to possess the traits of psychopathic behavior.

While researchers say their study can be used to evaluate personality, it can also be misleading.

“People are making judgments about others based on social media. Companies even exist that will do this for you if you’re hiring,” said Chris Sumner, who heads the privacy foundation. “However, almost all research says more research is needed before social media screening should be considered for use.”

The study was conducted using a computer program to scan tweets and a pre-existing psychological formula used to unmask a psychopath based on writing – of the 3,000 participants, nearly two percent of them exhibited psychopathic tendencies.

Researchers say that a person’s writing is only one indicator and the results are not 100 percent accurate. The computer did not have the capability to understand the context in which a word was used, nor was it able to recognize abbreviated words commonly used on Twitter.

[Medical Daily]

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