Facebook users react to ‘emotional contagion’ experiment

By Greta Heggeness,

Facebook is receiving negative attention following a controversial mood altering experiment that was conducted on randomly selected users. While it is no secret Facebook occasionally ‘adjusts’ the news feed of their users’ — customizing advertisements, photos, and posts that appear closer to the top of the page — have they taken privacy invasion too far?

Last week, Facebook released information regarding their psychological experiment, but has been receiving furious backlash from users since then, turning to other forms of social media like Twitter to express their disappointment in Facebook’s lack of respect for personal privacy.

The study, which was conducted in the hopes of being able to improve the experience of the user, has raised issues because users never explicitly agreed to participate in the study — most didn’t even know it was happening. While the experiment has officially concluded, users are waiting to discover whether or not Facebook will think twice about altering news feeds, gathering personal data, and conducting experiments on their users in the future.

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