Facebook conducted a experiment back in 2012 on its 700,000 users to study the emotions of its users. The experiment was studying how user emotions are contiguous on social network. During the experiment, the news feed content of the users was manipulated by suppressing positive emotions and showing more negative content or vice versa.
Most of the Facebook users expressed much furore over the same social network that it was ridiculous for Facebook Inc. to do this without any further warning or permission of users.
Anyways, the British data watchdog is now investigating ways to sue the company with a legitimate reasons. Investigators are working to find out if the experiment has broken any data protection laws.
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg was quoted saying:
This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated. And for that communication we apologize. We never meant to upset you.
Ireland is handling the case and investigating as the European Headquarter of Facebook is in Ireland. Whereas Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) spokesman Greg Jones quoted in email to Huffigntonpost.com:
We’re aware of this issue and will be speaking to Facebook, as well as liaising with the Irish data protection authority, to learn more about the circumstances
As I see, Facebook has not done anything wrong in conducting in this experiment. They had just changed their algorithm which would alter the things you see on your news feed. They were just trying to make their social network more friendly and positive (and most likely addictive). People have just made a habit that whatever Facebook does, it is bad for privacy and everything else. The same corporations and blogs who use Facebook for their own fan pages and which bolsters their user base are posting blogs on how to remove your Facebook profile, which is ultra-idiotic.
The study, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, revealed that for one week in 2012, Facebook altered the algorithm that determines what people see in their feeds. Some people would see primarily positive posts, while others would see mostly negative posts. Researchers then measured the effect of these posts on their mood. The study was conducted to evaluate a phenomenon known as “emotional contagion,” or the idea that you can “catch” a friend’s sunny disposition or negative outlook.