Facebook have come under fire after it was revealed that the social media giant conducted an experiment on 700,000 users without them knowing, and they didn’t have to get their permission as the experiment fell under their data use policy.
The company wanted to test to see if they could influence our moods by changing the algorithm of the site for one week in July 2012. They either removed all the happy posts from your timeline, or removed all the sad and angry ones.
Christian Sandvig, an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Information at the University of Michigan said that the experiment was not ethical, and tweeted: “*Probably* nobody was driven to suicide #jokingnotjoking”
Hmmm… sounds a bit dodgy to us. Though we were interested to find out the results! The researchers found that emotions actually are contagious: “When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred”.
How do you feel about Facebook playing with your emotions?