back to article Facebook unleashes mighty data trove to learn how you laugh

Facebook data scientists Udi Weinsberg, Lada Adamic, and Mike Develin say most social media addicts will write 'haha' once a week, that New Yorkers are emoji addicts, and none uses 'lol' anymore. The awesome demonstration of big data rigs at The Social NetworkTM uses a regular expressions set to crawl over an unspecified …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge


    I note that the "researchers" were called "scientists" and not "boffins" in the article. But for the life of me, I can't figure out why FB bothered. Unless there's a marketing angle in there for advertisers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      That's what they're looking for. hahafuckingha.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Seriously?

        Exactly. Knowing how each response is used by each sex/age/location demographic helps Facebook sell targeted ad space to advertisers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      But for the life of me, I can't figure out why FB bothered

      Thin edge of the wedge. It's like subversion: they never ask an insider immediately to hand over the company secrets, it always starts with a little favour. Then a bigger one (ect) until you have arrived at a point where you cannot turn back. FB has nicely corralled all the guinea pigs in its cage who can be seduced by the myth of a free service, and whose addicting is a total dependency on FB for their social life.

      Now they're all addicted it's time to bring out the dissection tools and test tubes, and not a peep will be heard. Even if the experiments get much more invasive, there will not be much of an outcry because for most people it is choosing between FB and a social life or a black hole. They'll stay. It no longer matters what FB grabs for itself, the drug habit has caught nicely..

      This is why I do not buy from companies who refer to FB or Google to contact support. Nowadays it pays to check on this beforehand.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      Probably because it's a large and diverse data set to train machines with. I wouldn't be surprised if from an algorithm point of view it's a very interesting and challenging data set.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. phil dude

      @1980s_coder: A nice observation. It even works *in* English: Just think of the differences between the comics from US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and then those from North of Watford ;-)

      I'm not sure this will help me ignore ads any less, because I ignore all ads.

      Ads are largely pointless....


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Japan and its www or 笑

  3. solo

    detecting fake laughter

    "science still has no formal method for detecting fake laughter and lols"

    I think this goes true for the real ones (not on a computer screen). For typed ones, it's just arrogance attempting their truthfulness. haha (I thought thrice before writing this laughter).

    1. VinceH

      Re: detecting fake laughter

      "For typed ones, it's just arrogance attempting their truthfulness."

      Not only that, but how are they identifying actual expressions of laughter (truthful indications or otherwise) versus ones typed by numpties who seem to think they have to follow every sentence with one?

      "I'm off now, I'll chat with you later lol"

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: detecting fake laughter

        'numpties' is too generous for these types, I honestly don't think they know what the 'lol' stands for. The 'tldr' obviously are people to be pitied, having the i.Q. of a glass of boiled water and the attention span of an undead goldfish

  4. PartTimeLegend

    No emoticon can express how I'm feeling right now!

  5. Elmer Phud

    Silence is golden

    There are others who will not use any of the above -- as they expect people not to need prompting.

    Also the lack of indication that something is supposed to be humerous drags the 'TLDR' trolls out -- the ones who can only read two words before giving up and commenting --those who are still baffled when they get a reply that says 'Irony is not just for taking creases out of shirts'.

    (Most trolls are really easy to troll -- a good troll is one that takes a while for the penny to drop.)

    1. SoulReaper

      Re: Silence is golden

      "Irony is not just for taking creases out of shirts"


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Silence is golden

      Also the lack of indication that something is supposed to be humerous

      What do arms have to do with it?

  6. Little Mouse Silver badge

    But no mention of the more sinister "Har Har Har" used by internet serial killers in assorted TV/Film productions.

  7. Camilla Smythe


    No doubt this, amongst other data points, will enable FB to stratify their users in respect of likelihood of clicking on an Ad for a particular product and therefore charge a premium to their prospective clients as a result of the more precise targeting. No doubt I would be offered South Korean Ramen rather than Japanese Ramen or Plain Noodles. I have been informed by a South Korean that their Ramen is the best you can get. Otherwise fortunately I do not have a FB account and their 'Like' buttons and JavaShit across the rest of the web get blocked to buggery.

  8. Old Handle

    Vaguely Apropos

    My father, the only Facebook user I associate with, recently mentioned that he'd received the message "Ha!" from another user... and Facebook offered to translate it. Looks like their laugh detector needs work.

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