Facebook Hits Back At Critics Of Its Emotional Manipulation Study

Not only is Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) not apologizing but its not believed that revelations regarding the study has not seen an uptick of users leaving the social network.

Facebook Hits Back At Critics Of Its Emotional Manipulation Study

“They comment. But they will be there tomorrow,” said Robert Nava, a 34-year-old online marketer from Orland, Calif., whose Facebook News Feed has been overwhelmed with anger over the study. “It’s the same as when we complain about new traffic laws. We will still be driving. When it’s something that benefits us and satisfies our human craving to be social, we are still going to keep going back to it.”

Apology from data scientist

While the data scientist responsible for the study that manipulated the News Feed of 700,000 users filling it with “happy” or “sad” posts in order to study the effects of those in the study has offered a personal apology in a post, Facebook is not backtracking on its decision to conduct the study.

Quite simply, Facebook did nothing that violated the user agreement and at the end of the day, Facebook is a free service that had your permission. Facebook has said that the study was done solely in order to make content “more relevant and engaging.”

Facebook defense

Additionally, the company recently stated:

This research was conducted for a single week in 2012 and none of the data used was associated with a specific person’s Facebook account. We do research to improve our services and to make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible.

A big part of this is understanding how people respond to different types of content, whether it’s positive or negative in tone, news from friends, or information from pages they follow. We carefully consider what research we do and have a strong internal review process.

There is no unnecessary collection of people’s data in connection with these research initiatives and all data is stored securely.

The company also pointed out that the study was “conducted more than 2.5 years ago.”

For those looking for an apology, Adam Kramer’s apologetic tone will have to do. Facebook is clearly not going to say it’s sorry.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]

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