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Facebook Requests Gender Information

Grammar errors causing confusion

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[ Technology]

Facebook is requesting that its members declare if they are male or female so it can correct a grammatical device that causes the site to refer to users as "they" or "themselves."

Grammatical errors in the messages Facebook uses to personalize pronouns when members communicate with their friends have increased since the site launched in other countries that do not speak English.

"We’ve gotten feedback from translators and users in other countries that translations wind up being too confusing when people have not specified a sex on their profiles," said Naomi Gleit, a Facebook product manager. "People who haven’t selected what sex they are frequently get defaulted to the wrong sex entirely in Mini-Feed stories."

If members don’t declare which sex they are they will receive a prompt asking if they want to be referred to as "him" or "her." That information will not be visible in members "basic information" but will be displayed in mini-feeds and news feed stories.

Facebook will allow members to opt – out if they do not want to specify their gender. They will be able to remove reference of their gender from messages about their activities.

The option is similar to a feature that allows members to not display their birthdays or remove the year they were born.
 

Facebook Requests Gender Information
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  • http://www.dvdhire.org blockbuster

    you wouldnt think it would be such a big deal. Love this quote -

    "Facebook will allow members to opt – out if they do not want to specify their gender."

    Why would you opt out… random

  • http://directory.car2be.com/ Thomas Anderson

    Call me cynical, but I wonder if facebook may be motivated by the potential for targetted advertising. When I listed my gender in my profile, I used to get ads promising to teach me to seduce women, and my female friends have complained of ridiculous weight-loss ads.