What Facebook's emotional manipulation of users really says

Tweaking users' news feeds without their consent in the name of research achieved little from an academic perspective but reveals a lot about the social network's ethics.

The Conversation

In a move that has as many people puzzled as outraged, Facebook has published research that involved a deliberate attempt to manipulate the emotional state of 689,000 of its users. Experimenters from Facebook, Cornell University and the University of California, San Francisco conducted experiments over a week period in January 2012 in which they manipulated the contents of users' News Feeds, screening out posts that had emotional content. The results of the study have recently been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

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