Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? That seems to be the internet zeitgeist, and apparently for good reason too, because we are.
Facebook apologized the other day for experimenting on its users without their knowledge. Their experiment was in collaboration with Cornell University, and it’s methodology was basically the altering of user’s newsfeeds to see if emotions are contagious.
According to the study, as Facebook placed fewer negative words into a user’s newsfeed, users posted .07% fewer negative words in their statuses.
John Grohol of PsychCentral thinks that the findings of this study are bogus, claiming that the .07% is more of a statistical blip than an effect.
Although this experimentation comes as a surprise to many in the online community, Facebook’s terms and conditions allow the social media giant to use user info for “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.”
This clause appears in the terms and conditions right before Facebook demands “the left gonad of any user whose birthday is on a summer solstice that coincides with a full moon.”
While Britain’s Commissioner of Information is looking to see if any privacy laws were broken, it doesn’t seem that users are too angry.
That being said, I can’t wait to post this article on my feed.