Facebook Gaydar Emerges From Breakthrough MIT Project

Are you quietly stalking someone and too dense to figure out their sexual orientation from Google searches, Flickr party photos and real-life gossip? Well, a couple of MIT geniuses invented just the tool for you.

The best part of Carter Jernigan and Behram Mistree's software, created for a research project, is that you don't even need to "friend" your target to figure out if he's gay. You simply need access to his friends list, which is made public by default on Facebook. In the students' test, which examined 947 profiles, the program identified all 10 of 10 men the students knew to be gay, but who had not declared so on Facebook, according to a summary in the Boston Globe.

Studies following up on this crucial research will, presumably, deal with the problems of false positives and of lesbians, who somehow evade the gaydar completely. In the meantime, people can't stop talking about the MIT students' unreleased software. Because while sexual orientation has never been less of a secret, particularly among the young oversharers on Facebook and Twitter, users of these social networks love nothing so much as a little passive-aggressive e-stalking. Especially of the pseudo-scientific sort.