More than 95 percent of the people who type "LOL" are liars, a Stanford University study has concluded.
The study used social media and laptop cameras to track 500 students who used the acronym over the course of an academic year. Sociology Professor Douglas Lee, who led the study, described the results as "sobering," "distressing" and "no laughing matter."
"Most of them are not only not 'laughing out loud,' they aren't laughing at all," Lee wrote in the report's five-page executive summary. "We didn't expect everyone to be forthright, but in 82 percent of the cases, they weren't even smiling!"
For "ROFL," which stands for "rolling on the floor laughing" and which Lee described as "the advanced version of LOL," the rate of dishonesty was 98.3 percent.
"Ironically, we found that it's quite impossible to type while rolling on the floor," Lee said. "Only three people in our survey have tried that. Two ended up with cracked touchscreens and one with a broken collarbone."
Lee's study is part of a long-term, multi-university research project into the effects of personal technology on honesty in society.