Technology: Facebook Research

Recently, Facebook came under fire for doing research that their users were not aware of. Over 600,000 users’ News Feeds were manipulated to help the company conduct its research. Half of those users had very positive messages and posts shown on their News Feeds. The other half had negative messages shown on their News Feeds. Based on the company’s results, users who saw positive posts on their News Feeds were more likely to post uplifting and positive messages themselves. Conversely, those who were shown more negative messages ended up being ore likely to post negative things themselves. Many people are outraged because Facebook did not tell any of its users that they were actually test subjects. They feel as though the company intruded upon their privacy and used their personal data unfairly. Those who defend Facebook say that the company is not in the wrong; when singing up to become Facebook users, people actually consent to letting the company use their personal data, if Facebook so chooses to do so. Many people also think that this research was harmless, and did not use users’ data and information in a bad way.

 

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