There are a few things I understand about media, after being an active member of it for the past 20+ years:
It can only thrive because it understands it’s users.
- Everything it does is based on what it knows about its users.
- It’s constantly gathering insights, trends and habits about its users.
Facebook is the king of social media because it understands the importance of monitoring it’s community and competition. It has to find ways to keep people interested, engaged and active. It is constantly monitoring our attitudes, habits and lifestyles. It does this while we are sleeping or active on the site.
The experiment they just did, could have been handled better and with more respect – but it wasn’t.
If they choose to continue their research and discovery (which they will), I suspect they will handle it better. But if you don’t want to be in a petri dish, then best to get off social media, particularly Facebook.
How could they have handled it differently and still gotten the feedback they needed?
Facebook experiment to see if tweaking emotional content of news feeds impacted emotions of posting. How dodgy?http://t.co/yJykrjBKWG
— Steve Read (@steve_read) June 28, 2014
@BridgetCarey oh I believe that unless it’s in their policy somewhere to say they can do it, then people could file class action lawsuit — Nathan Bond (@BondNathan_007) June 30, 2014
Their policy page is comprehensive and worded as such and it would be difficult to win a class action suit because it’s all in the interpretation.
Many are choosing to opt out of Facebook. That is a choice that can work really well for people. But, if you use it right, set all your settings, and accept what goes with the territory it can be an incredible resource, as well as fun and productive.
Time to dump Facebook? It manipulated the feed of 600k users as part of an “emotional experiment” http://t.co/ga81rsr0QQ #labrats via @kb
— marc blank-settle (@MarcSettle) June 28, 2014
Great question. It’s sort of addictive, vicarious and very entertaining, not to mention the most immediate, viral way to spread important information and get feedback.
Why do u people keep using Facebook? RT @edyong209: Huge FB experiment on emotional contagion http://t.co/gcl0jstG6l http://t.co/Tlm6FIvCTl
— Brian Banks (@BrianBanks) June 28, 2014
Welcome to the Surveillance Economy.
— Cole Peters (@cole_peters) June 29, 2014
Facebook is NOT required. It’s totally optional and voluntary, so if you don’t want to be under social surveillance, best to log off and not participate.
@BridgetCarey they are getting so big they think they can do what ever they want, just like government
— Vic Bronkhorst (@vicbronkhorst) June 30, 2014
More proof we’re product, not customers MT @edyong209 Interstng piece on ethics of FB emotional contagion experiment http://t.co/9a0gX2HHv5
— Julian Smith (@Julianwrites) June 28, 2014
We are products and so are all our customers really. We are tapped for all kinds of reasons. It’s up to us to build relationships where we see mutual value.
@malefemme It’s mainly to manipulate you into buying things advertisers want you to. You are the product
— Quarries & Corridors (@quarridors) June 28, 2014
Sales manipulation is always going to exist. We need to qualify, vet and make sure we know who we are doing business with. Most of the manipulation like that is transparent.
@BridgetCarey @CNET very disturbing. The year I got strange internal messages from Facebook & spent $$$$ undoing the paranoia. #classaction
— Zoey Goetsch (@ZoeyGoetsch) June 30, 2014
It may be disturbing, but hardly unexpected.
@Raffi_RC WOW! We need to care about this! They were toying with our emotions? #unacceptable! @facebook gains another strike against them
— Carrie Creamer RMT (@CarrieCreamerMT) July 4, 2014
Yes we do, and it starts and ends with you. You can choose not to be on Facebook, or friend people, or create a page that reflects your values, standards and etiquette.
What do you think about the latest activities of Facebook and this Facebook experiment?
Computer Experiment Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Facebook
One thing is for sure – this experiment is really hurting people. Aside from the fact that they are already sharing much of their personal lives in this medium, they are also experimented without their consent. I personally think that that is unethical and should be addressed.
Aira, it was not handled respectfully and could have been set up as a more voluntary survey, but it wasn’t. The public response is something FB does consider, but most retailers have things in place on the web that gathers tons of information about our habits as we are searching. How else do products and services show up on our pages that we just looked at?
I choose to remain on Facebook, because of the people, the discussions, the laughs, the community. However, I feel what Facebook did was disrespectful, manipulative, unethical, inconsiderate and dangerous.