'Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests' offers a glimpse of quiz dystopia

Tech 4-3-2021 Mashable 21
'Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests' offers a glimpse of quiz dystopia

When I was a teenager, I applied for a job at an ice cream chain I ought not name for legal reasons. After filling in my online application, the chain’s website directed me to a series of multiple choice questions that seemed completely irrelevant to the job. I had to select “strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, or strongly disagree” to prompts like “I tend to have a positive outlook on life” and thought the whole thing was weird as hell. I was never called in for an interview. 

Later in my career, I worked as an online quiz editor. My job was to write, design, edit, and develop new formats of those super-clickable online personality quizzes that took over everyone’s Facebook news feed in the early 2010s. If you wanted to find out which Disney animal sidekick you were, I was the one deciding you were Mushu (you’re welcome). Writing those quizzes was part social engineering, part fortune telling, and part being a hungover 24-year-old with a deadline, but take it from who has seen the back end of that code: The results are meaningless. Read more...

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