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Current Events PopWrapped | Current Events

Facebook Conducts Secret Psychological Experiment On Its Users

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


07/01/2014 5:39 pm
PopWrapped | Current Events
Facebook Conducts Secret Psychological Experiment On Its Users
Media Courtesy of Flickr
Courtesy of Flickr Courtesy of Flickr

Charity Smith

Staff Writer @wryobservatory

Facebook is in trouble. They have a lot of angry users on their hands right now. The problem: they used their users as unknowing guinea pigs in a psychological experiment to test the “contagious” nature of emotions by manipulating their news feeds and measuring their emotions afterwards. According to a company spokesperson, "This research was conducted for a single week in 2012 and none of the data used was associated with a specific person's Facebook account. We do research to improve our services and to make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible. A big part of this is understanding how people respond to different types of content, whether it's positive or negative in tone, news from friends, or information from pages they follow. We carefully consider what research we do and have a strong internal review process." Obviously, manipulation of the news feed is hardly a new thing. We’ve been complaining about it for a while now, but this just feels worse, even if we can’t really articulate why. Probably because there was no real consent. So they weren’t manipulating you specifically and it’s not ongoing. This is small comfort to those who feel the spirit of the law of consent has been violated. For the most part, the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative and angry and has many people swearing to quit the social media platform. The most common lie we’ve all told (I have read and agreed to the terms of service) has come back to bite us. Buried in Facebook’s terms of service, which no one reads because it’s about as easy to understand as the book of Isaiah, is language stating “that members consent to having information about them used for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement”. In other words, if you’re gonna use us, we’re gonna use you. Most of us have more or less accepted the exchange of convenience and fun for greater visibility and far less true privacy. We’re just angry that the illusion of privacy has been ripped away. Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!



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