Facebook Hit Headlines for Wrong Reasons

Facebook Hit Headlines for Wrong Reasons

It has been revealed that Facebook deliberately manipulated nearly a quarter of a million users' news feeds in order to determine whether or not such manipulation is effective in manipulating their moods. Facebook has received vitriol from many critics for performing such an unethical activity.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office has announced that it will look into the matter to see if Facebook is culpable of breaching data protection legislation.

It has emerged that Facebook meddled with the news feeds of over 689,000 users for a week in 2012. Facebook data scientists did so to facilitate a study with Cornell University and the University of California.

Negative content was shown to some users, whereas as some others were showed the positive content. After this, Facebook analyzed the content posted by those users to see if the content they were previously showed made them more positive or negative.

Facebook said in a statement, "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".

The reaction of Erin Kissane, director of content at OpenNews, was vehement on Twitter, saying everyone should take themselves off Facebook and ask their families as well to get off Facebook.

Study co-author Adam Kramer wrote in a public Facebook post that they never intended to upset anyone and the benefits sought from the research are self explanatory to justify that.


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