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Facebook regrets for ’emotional contagion’ experiment


Facebook has admitted its mistake in conducting the emotional manipulation experiment without the consent of the users. The social-networking site said it would not conduct experiments on users anymore and will follow an open policy.

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The experiment was conducted in June which involved more than 600,00 Facebook users and the company face widespread criticism for the study. The experiment compiled users’ responses by changing the News Feed by showing positive and negative posts.

The social-networking site apologized for the study and has now promised that it would not conduct experiments on users anymore. The company was also questioned by Information Commissioners Office (ICO) over violation of data protection laws.”We’re committed to doing research to make Facebook better, but we want to do it in the most responsible way,” said Mike Schroepfer, Chief Technical Officer at Facebook.

Schroepfer stated that the company should have been more open about the experiment or should have been well communicated and done in a “non-experimental” way. A new system has been set up for researchers at Facebook for a considered approach and will help the company  to build a “better Facebook”. The CTO also added that the company’s services are produced with “extensive research, experimentation and testing”.

Earlier the company said the terms and conditions allowed the company to use users internal data  and now Schroepfer has posted about the new guidelines and framework in the company. This blog post is seen as a way to gain users’ trust and educating users about the need for research in the social-networking site. Read: Ello – an anti-Facebook social network is rising!

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About Anirudh Madhav

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A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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