Facebook's Controversial News Feed Experiment Kindles Heavy Criticism

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Facebook is now severely facing criticisms for what it did in a year 2012. This was with regard to the Facebook users' privacy and social security. To be precise, the social media giant had conducted a psychology experiment on nearly 700,000 users back then.

Facebook's Controversial News Feed Experiment Kindles Heavy Criticism

In the study that was conducted along with Cornell University, and the University of California at San Francisco, Facebook manipulated news feeds to control emotional expressions of the users. According to the report on the study, "The experiment manipulated the extent to which people were exposed to emotional expressions in their News Feed." However, in defense, the company reportedly said there was "no unnecessary collection of people's data".

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The researchers wanted to see if the number of positive, or negative, words in messages they read affected whether users then posted positive or negative content in their status updates. Indeed, after the exposure the manipulated users began to use negative or positive words in their updates depending on what they were exposed to.

Facebook's data scientist, Adam Kramer reportedly said, "We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out".

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"At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends' negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook."

He goes on to add that for its methodology, the social networking site only "very minimally deprioritized a small percentage of content in the News Feed (based on whether there was an emotional word in the post) for a group of people (about 0.04% of users, or 1 in 2500) for a short period (one week, in early 2012)."

However, on the results of the experiment, the study suggested that users who had fewer negative stories in their news feed were less likely to write a negative post, and vice versa.

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