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I'm Sebastien Orban and I'm a hacker and a painter.

30 June 2014

Facebook experiment

It was revealed this week that Facebook has created a "small" experiment to see how people react with more bad or good news in their stream - all that without warning anyone of course. This dubious way of practising is creating a major outcry on the net - and, it's well deserved. The fact that there was no screening of the "applicant" means that there's some part of them that got emotional issue, and were made to suffer for no reason... and, what's more, it can skew the result. Obviously, they can have gotten the same result by anonymising the stream and making correlation in read only. But that would probably have been too easy. Still the disquieting thought is that they don't hesitate to manipulate us. But if we think a bit more about it, it's not that surprising. What is strange here is that they use that for "science" and not for profit. The manipulation part is not when you watch the evolution of your stream : it was a way to get news from your friends, it's now a way to get news from their sponsor. Now the question is : what do we do about it ?