Can social media predict when you’ll die?

Social media data can reveal all sorts of health info, but could it also predict your death? In this video, an expert weighs in on whether it's possible.

Boston University • futurity
Oct. 1, 2019 1 minSource

A young woman has half her face painted with black and white skull facepaint

Could social media data predict your death?

Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook collect a staggering amount of data points from us, so much data that our social media activity can pretty accurately reveal things from gym habits to the state of our mental well-being.

An article from last year covered a Facebook patent related to algorithms that can predict major life changes, including death. Could social media data do more than just portray how healthy you are now and instead look into the future?

Elaine Nsoesie, an assistant professor of global health at the School of Public Health and a data science faculty fellow at the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering at Boston University, studies how digital information and social media can be used for infectious disease and public health surveillance.

Here, she digs into whether it’s feasible for social media data to tell us when we’ll die, based on her own data surveillance research:

Source: Boston University

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