The Facebook Experiment
Have you ever thought of yourself as a lab rat? I hadn’t either until I learned about Facebook’s emotional manipulation study. The study manipulated the content of the newsfeeds of 700,000 of their (trusting) users. Facebook looked at the impact that positive or negative posts would have.
Facebook made an amazing discovery OMG !!, LOL, when people see positive posts it makes them happy and when they see negative posts it makes them sad. Wow, Einsteins at work on their lab rats, namely all of us little peons.
This has been dubbed the Facebook experiment for that’s exactly what it was. Personally, I don’t like being a lab rat without my knowledge, do you? Oh sure, they put it in the very fine print in the terms of their agreement that nobody reads. They claim that the experiment was done to provide better service.
Why is this experiment so disturbing? Did it harm anyone? It may have, but I’m not sure if we’ll ever know the answer to that. Did someone become so depressed over a newsfeed that they ended up killing themselves? It absolutely could have, so how dare Facebook play with the vulnerability of people’s emotions.
Facebook was apparently surprised by the angry reaction of their unknowing rats. A complaint was filed with the FTC ! (yeah!) Why would Facebook be so reckless? One answer is that, “Facebook has a real problem acting responsibly—it’s so focused on generating additional ad revenues.”
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg said this to the Wall Street Journal, “We take privacy and security at Facebook really seriously because that is something that allows people to share” opinions and emotions. Sure they do!! Again another LOL from me!