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Michael Rielly

Facebook conducted secret psychology experiment on users' emotions

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Michael Rielly

Facebook conducted secret psychology experiment on users' emotions

 

The Telegraph

By Harriet Alexander

28 June 2014

 

EXCERPT:

 

Facebook has conducted a secret massive psychology experiment on its users to find out how they respond to positive and negative messages - without telling participants

 

Over 600,000 Facebook users have taken part in a psychological experiment organised by the social media company, without their knowledge.
 
Facebook altered the tone of the users' news feed to highlight either positive or negative posts from their friends, which were seen on their news feed.
 
They then monitored the users' response, to see whether their friends' attitude had an impact on their own.
 
"The results show emotional contagion," wrote a team of Facebook scientists, in a paper published by the PNAS journal - Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists of the United States.
 
"When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks."

 

...

 

Facebook were able to carry out the experiment because all users have to tick a box agreeing to their terms and conditions. These include "internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement."

 

SOURCE

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Cynthia Lewis

This is useful knowledge:  It shows how much Santa's love, joy, hope and optimism can give to others.  I seem to be focusing on helping children find their courage.

 

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

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Chris Capstone

This is useful knowledge:  It shows how much Santa's love, joy, hope and optimism can give to others....

 

Apparently you are not a member of any Santa groups on FB (which might actually be a good thing.) :santa_wink:  

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Cynthia Lewis

No, my kids won't let me get on FaceBook, I get into too much trouble...

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Santa Marty

Apparently you are not a member of any Santa groups on FB (which might actually be a good thing.) :santa_wink:

So this might explain an occasional "feeding frenzy" even on one of the nicest sites?

No, my kids won't let me get on FaceBook, I get into too much trouble...

Are you sure it isn't so you don't see what your kid's are doing on FB & they might get into too much trouble?

Edited by Santa Marty

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Michael Rielly

I said it before and I will say it again: Facebook is evil...

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/technology/facebook-tinkers-with-users-emotions-in-news-feed-experiment-stirring-outcry.html?_r=0

 

But last week, Facebook revealed that it had manipulated the news feeds of over half a million randomly selected users to change the number of positive and negative posts they saw. It was part of a psychological study to examine how emotions can be spread on social media. The company says users consent to this kind of manipulation when they agree to its terms of service. But in the quick judgment of the Internet, that argument was not universally accepted.
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Cynthia Lewis

So this might explain an occasional "feeding frenzy" even on one of the nicest sites?

Are you sure it isn't so you don't see what your kid's are doing on FB & they might get into too much trouble?

Yeah, my husband has something like 900 friends who follow him and he keeps up with our 2) 30+ year-old kids and their families.  No, I got in trouble on FaceBook, as I have already gotten in trouble here....

Edited by QuietOne

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Steelwheels

I hear what you're saying Michael but it's people that are, or can choose to be evil, or good for that matter. FB isn't evil it's how an individule uses it that may or may not be good or evil. Kind of like the choices children make and their actions that will put them on my naughty or nice list.

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Michael Rielly

I hear what you're saying Michael but it's people that are, or can choose to be evil, or good for that matter. FB isn't evil it's how an individule uses it that may or may not be good or evil. Kind of like the choices children make and their actions that will put them on my naughty or nice list.

 

I understand what you are saying, but when a company purposely targets content designed to affect a specific group of persons' behavior, you have to question what the bigger picture is.

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Chris Capstone

I understand what you are saying, but when a company purposely targets content designed to affect a specific group of persons' behavior, you have to question what the bigger picture is.

 

I agree with Michael. It looks to me like they are running tests and planning for something in the future. They ain't just doin' it to satisfy someone's curiosity. I shudder to think how FB might be used in the future.

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Michael Rielly

It's down right creepy if you ask me. Twitter and the Blogosphere is on fire over this! 

 

Altering the tenor and mood of your social circle—of your friends—to manipulate emotions is *really different* from A/B testing page design.

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Cynthia Lewis

Is this really all that different from high stakes advertising?

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Morgan Putnam

Is this really all that different from high stakes advertising?

Consider for a moment that it's a matter of public record that that the CIA has funded startups like Facebook & Google.

Then consider that a relationship between companies that regularly datamine connections between users for business purposes (selling ads) and a Federal government clandestine service has real potential to curtail individual liberty.  Especially since the history of the US Federal goverment is replete with examples of violations of civil liberties going from Obama & Nixon using the IRS to go after political opponents to CoINTELPRO in the 50's through the 70's

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

 

The US Federal government has confiscated land from Indians, violated treaties, impounded property from Japanes-American citizens during WWII, infiltrated civil rights groups, gone after liberals (under Nixon) and conservatives (under Obama)  with the IRS, locked up 'terrorists' without trial for a decade only to eventually free them uncharged (Gitmo) , overthrown friendly governments (Italy), supported dictators in the middle east, the far east, and Latin America, lied us into at least 2 wars, passed legislation stripping the Bill of Rights protections which is ever Americans birthright, and on and on and on.

 

A government like that, interested in what you -and your friends-look like (photo-tags),  who you know, (friends)  where you go,(posts)  who your friends are, who you talk to and what do you say;(politics) , in bed with business that gets people to willingly hand over all that data on a silver platter. 

 

EDIT:

 

And now business is figuring out how to use social media to manufacture mood (and by result) public opinion, just the way they did broadcasting,  I'm pretty sure a government like ours will find that quite useful.

 

There's a lot more at stake than which brownie mix advertizers conned Aunt Sadie into buying.

 

In my opinion.

Edited by Morgan

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