In January 2012 and during a week, Facebook, the world largest social network, with over 1.300 million users, made a controversial experiment to check reactions of its users when they offered positive or negative posts. The experiment was much criticized for possible manipulations and intrusions on Facebook profiles.
This research wanted to test the thesis of “emotional contagion.” To do this, Facebook manipulated algorithm “News Feed” of 690,000 users to give more positive or negative news. and check if this caused the publication of positive or negative content.
Now, Sheryl Sandberg, number two of Facebook, has tried to calm people in a statement from New Delhi (India). She was in New Delhi at a meeting with entrepreneurs and business women as part of its campaign “Lean In.” There, she said that the experiment was part of the research that companies do to try different products. But it was communicated poorly, and Facebook apologizes for it. “We never wanted to bother users,” she added. “We take seriously the privacy and security on Facebook because it is what allows people to share content.”
However, Facebook will continue making experiments with users, because this is innovation. And Monika Bickert, head of global policy management, said (Aspen Festival): “We want to make sure that we are being transparent, both for regulators and for people.”
For now, the UK government has opened an investigation to know if Facebook violated data privacy law during the experiment.
And you? What do you think? Do you agree with this kind of experiments? I this innovation? Tell us your opinion.
Enjoy your day, Yareah friends. Art is everywhere and up to you!
“Little girls think it’s necessary to put all their business on MySpace and Facebook, and I think it’s a shame…I’m all about mystery.” By Stevie Nicks.
Video: Facebook’s Emotion Manipulation Study: This Week in Google 256.