Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s controversial emotion manipulation study received support from many executives including COO Sheryl Sandberg and company’s Head of Global Policy Management, Monika Bickert. Sandberg maintained that the experiment was just a part of the product testing to enhance the quality of services for users while Bickert believe the study done to improve the platform and product.
Study leads to new features
While talking to the audience during the Aspen Ideas Festival, Bickert said that the majority of the studies done at Facebook are concerned with offering better products to the customers.
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One of the audiences asked Bickert that whether there is some sort of regulations to check this and that how free speech might be affected by the content that social networker users are made see. He added that Facebook does these researches and data manipulation for politics and not for science.
“You point out a policy issue,” Bickert replied, and added that this is the primary reason for “the tension between legislation and innovation.”
According to Bickert, the research was conducted with the sole purpose of platform-improvement and customer service. Bickert said that one would be able to listen while walking through the campus that the engineers discuss how to make the product better and question like, “How do we better suit the needs of the population using this product, and how do we show them more of what they want to see, and less of what they don’t want to see?” She added that continuous strive to offer something new reflects on Facebook and YouTube, when a user finds new features.
Facebook respects privacy concerns
According to Facebook COO, the experiment was just a part of the product testing to enhance the quality of services for users. Regulators in UK are not taking the controversial issue lightly and have already started an investigation. Sandberg didn’t speak out anything clearly over the issue.
“There is a lot to this (user privacy and users data) but to talk about this specific issue, it was a one week study a long time ago and it was like any product… testing different aspects of the product so that we can provide a better newsfeed experience,” said Sandberg.
Sandberg’s comments followed the inquiry ordered by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK to examine if the company has breached data protection laws applicable in the country.
Sandberg said that the company works in close collaboration with all regulators in the world. The COO of the company said that Facebook is very particular about the privacy issues, and it is the hallmark of its service.