If you’re trying to hang on to some shred of anonymity on Twitter, you’re going to have a tough time ahead: new research shows that a single tweet can disclose the gender of the tweeter.
By isolating specific words in a single tweet, researchers from the Mitre Corporation were able to guess the gender of the Tweeter 66 percent of the time. And if they examined the whole steam of tweets in that user’s timeline, the accuracy jumped to over 75 percent.
As Fast Company reports, the researchers chose to examine the Twitter accounts of those users whose gender they could identify with certainty – those who had links to blogs or other profiles which confirmed their gender. The total users were broken down into about 55 percent female and 45 percent male.
From there, they set their algorithm to work.
One of the most interesting findings of this research team was that you can predict gender based on certain words that people tweet.
When a Twitter user uses words like “love”, “haha”, “cute”, “omg”, “yay”, and even mundane words like “home”, “tomorrow” and “sleep”, odds are they’re a woman.
Women had the most gender-skewed words, numbering over 50, but men had only two: “http” and “google”.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that women tweet only about the words in the above chart – but it does mean that if you see one of those worse, you’d be placing a winning bet if you said it was tweeted by a woman.
So, even in a single tweet, you’re likely giving away your gender without even realizing it.