Facebook let shrinks MESS WITH YOUR HEADS, sans consent

Posted by Mike Confino, June 30, 2014

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Facebook has let trick cyclists mess with its users’ feeds to deliberately manipulate their emotions – and has offered the suggestion that such behaviour is routine, which is apparently how the project got past ethics committees.

In 2012, the researchers, led by the company’s data scientist Adam Kramer, manipulated which posts from their friends the sample of nearly 700,000 users could see in their “News feed”, suppressing either positive or negative posts, to see whether either cheerful or downer posts seemed to be emotionally contagious.

With only a user’s “agree click” on Facebook’s terms and conditions document to provide a fig-leaf of consent to the creepy experiment, researchers from Cornell University, the University of California San Francisco manipulated users’ news feeds.

via Facebook let shrinks MESS WITH YOUR HEADS, sans consent • The Register.

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