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Facebook Researchers Toy With Emotions: Wake Up
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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 4:51:32 PM
Re: Violation of user trust -- or what's left of it
>But this is still a breach of user trust.

This could have been handled better but it's hypocritical for anyone in the press to point fingers. Emotional manipulation is the lifeblood of the news business. The news biz maxim "if it bleeds, it leads" exists precisely because headlines can push emotional buttons. 
H@mmy
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H@mmy,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 4:01:38 PM
Re: Violation of user trust -- or what's left of it
Being a user of Facebook, I am sad to read this. Sadly its legal too as written in their terms and conditions. Surely violation of user trust.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 2:42:59 PM
Violation of user trust -- or what's left of it
I would say that Facebook should have been more transparent about what they were doing -- i.e. tell people about the "experiment" and let them accept or decline being part of it. But if people knew what was happening, their emotions wouldn't have been manipulated, now would they.

But this is still a breach of user trust. If you're intentionally not giving people the news feed they should be getting and not telling them, that's a violation. It warrants the bad PR and online outrage. But it will pass. Makes me glad I hid most of the people in my Facebook network and now use the site as a RSS news feed.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 2:19:08 PM
EXACTLY
Thank you - spot on analysis. And, may I add, that data scientist's non-apology is great as well. Nice use of the English language to basically say, "Get over yourselves, morons. What did you THINK we were doing?"
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 2:07:17 PM
Re: Inaccurate statement
Thanks, I'll get that corrected.
anon9374167803
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anon9374167803,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 1:58:05 PM
Inaccurate statement
"The researchers altered the News Feeds of 689,003 Facebook users by removing all positive posts or all negative posts to gauge the effect on people's moods."

 

That is incorrect.  Each emotionally charged post had a 10%-90% chance of being removed, depending on user ID.
cafzali
IW Pick
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 1:50:08 PM
isn't it interesting
The ethics of Facebook's moves aside, isn't it interesting how people will willfully spill their guts out on Facebook -- including putting lots of things that don't make them look that good, whether or not they realize it at the time -- but then get all perturbed when Facebook essentially creates a "mood index" for the content they provide? 

To me, this whole thing could be solved relatively easily if people would be just a bit more judicious in terms of what they share with the world. And, odds are, their friends would thank them as well because they likely don't want to read all of that either. 
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 1:41:18 PM
Parody
Facebook's practices aside, Prof. Grimmelmann does parody well. Academia is the last bastion of "treating people with dignity and serving the common good"? Except when there's grant money or tenure on the line, or someone forwards a POV that's not in line with the orthodoxy.   

 
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