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Age Prediction in Blogs: A Study of Style, Content, and Online Behavior in Pre- and Post-Social Media Generations

McKeown, Kathleen; Rosenthal, Sara

We investigate whether wording, stylistic choices, and online behavior can be used to predict the age category of blog authors. Our hypothesis is that significant changes in writing style distinguish pre-social media bloggers from post-social media bloggers. Through experimentation with a range of years, we found that the birth dates of students in college at the time when social media such as AIM, SMS text
messaging, MySpace and Facebook first became popular, enable accurate age prediction. We also show that internet writing characteristics are important features for age prediction, but that lexical content is also needed to produce significantly more accurate results. Our best results allow for 81.57% accuracy.

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Computer Science
Published Here
April 26, 2013
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