Facebook manipulation experiment has connections to DoD "emotional contagion" research

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2014/07/03/facebook-manipulation-experime.html

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and http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/07/15/propoganda-ban-repealed-as-government-made-news-floods-u-s/


Well, I feel better already.

I think I found your problem right here.

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I like to listen to the radio. I like to read the papers. I Like to go on facebook and tell everyone what i just heard and read. I’m a good citizen, who does what he can. I have no strong views on anything really. And now i find out i’m just a vector. I’m helping spread propaganda that doesn’t even dare to tell us who it’s from. Even my burps are contagious. Do i truly have any thoughts of my own?

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I have never been more proud of the fact that I don’t have a fucking Facebook account.


It’s not clear whether this specific experiment came under the umbrella of Hancock’s DoD funding.

It’s very clear if you actually look.

The details of the DoD funded project in question can be viewed here. No new material has been published for two years, and the funding period ended last year. Hancock’s contribution was a single paper published five years ago and that can be read here.

Can’t believe I’m defending Facebook, but SCG News isn’t considered reputable by anyone except Putin. Posts like this are manipulative, Cory, whether you intend it or not. I still love you, but I wish you wouldn’t stoop to their level. What’s that old quote? “He who fights with morally bankrupt internet emperors might take care lest he thereby become a bit of a wanker.” Something like that, anyway.

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The first articles on this story said that FB had only conducted this experiment for a 1-2 week period in 2011. I guess not, eh?

Sherry Sandburg just issued an apology, and said this ran for almost 2 years.
I read about this today here: http://bit.ly/fb-experiment. They have a great list of the most recent articles on this Facebook Experiment.
How do you feel about Facebook’s secret psychology experiment on users?
I was shocked and upset to think that my friends and I could have our feeds and information manipulated like this.
Ethically this has to be considered dishonest. To conduct an experiment which involves peoples feelings and moods, and not letting them know.

A bit too often, letting people know in advance ruins the experiment. There are some important classics that fall under this that we are better off with than without.

XKCD reads my mind, as usual:

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