Facebook language may predict risk of dangerous drinking, new study suggests

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Conceptual illustration of a womans profile and a line of glasses of wine depicting excessive alcohol consumption.
Conceptual illustration of a womans profile and a line of glasses of wine depicting excessive alcohol consumption.

Millions of people around the world are affected by alcohol use disorders, with three million deaths occurring, as a result, each year. So, if researchers can figure out strategies to prevent dangerous drinking habits, this number could be significantly lowered.

Thankfully, experts are getting closer to doing this. A new study by researchers from Stony Brook University’s computer science department used the social media platform Facebook to try to determine whether the language used in posts can identify whether users are at risk of dangerous drinking habits and alcohol use disorders. 

By collecting and analysing data on more than 3 600 respondents from the general population, they found that "social media language is moderately accurate… at identifying individuals at risk for alcohol problems". 

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