Facebook is more than just a social network, it is also officially an online science laboratory. The company has revealed in a research paper that it carried out a week-long experiment that affected nearly 700,000 users to test the effects of transferring emotion online. The News Feeds belonging to 689,003 users of the English language version were altered to see “whether exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviors,” Facebook says. There was one track for those receiving more positive posts, and another for those who were exposed to more emotionally negative content from their friends. Posts themselves were not affected and…
Facebook’s experiment with manipulating the emotions of hundreds of thousands of users has quite rightly drawn criticism from people worried about the ethics of such a practice, no matter how scientific its approach.
Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Everything We Know About Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment
TheAtlantic.com – Robinson Meyer – Jun 26, 10:20 AM – Facebook’s News Feed—the main list of status updates, messages, and photos you see when you open Facebook on your computer or phone—is not a perfect mirror of the world. But few users expect that Facebook would change their News Feed
TheAtlantic.com – Adrienne LaFrance – Jun 26, 10:20 AM – Catching a glimpse of the puppet masters who play with the data trails we leave online is always disorienting. And yet there’s something new-level creepy about a recent study that shows Facebook manipulated what users saw when they logged into the
Slate – Katy Waldman – Jun 28, 5:50 PM – Facebook has been experimenting on us. A new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that Facebook intentionally manipulated the news feeds of almost 700,000 users in order to study “emotional contagion through
avclub.com – Jun 27, 1:30 PM – Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of
Facebook has been experimenting on us. A new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that Facebook intentionally manipulated the news feeds of almost 700,000 users in order to study “emotional contagion through social networks.”
The internet is a two-edged sword—a vehicle for mass surveillance on the one hand and the organisation of civil-society protest on the other.