Facebook Secretly Tried To Manipulate Our Moods
I thought it was pretty evil when Facebook announced they would be listening in on our lives through our phones, but THIS is really evil. Facebook secretly used a bunch of us as guinea pigs- to see if they had the power to manipulate our emotions. To conduct this study they secretly filtered almost 700,000 people’s news-feeds.
For one week in January of 2012 they showed half of those 700k mostly negative posts from their friends. The other half got mostly positive posts.
Then they monitored those people to see how the posts they were seeing affected them. Would happy posts lift people up? Would Debbie downers spawn more negativity? Nope. They found they can’t manipulate our emotions. There was no connection between the posts people saw and how their moods changed. (At least that’s what they’re telling us)
By the way, the study was technically legal– you give permission to Facebook to do stuff like this by being a member of their site. In fact, we only know about the study because Facebook just published a paper on it. But still… kind of evil, right?