Facebook Defends Experimenting on Users

    A Facebook error message is seen in this illustration photo of a computer screen in Singapore June 19, 2014.  Facebook Inc's website appeared to be back up on Thursday a few minutes after it displayed a message saying "Sorry, something went wrong". The outage was reported in several countries, including China, Singapore and India. REUTERS/Thomas White (SINGAPORe - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS SOCIETY) - RTR3ULAI

    Thomas White/Reuters

    Facebook altered more than 600,000 users’ newsfeed algorithms to experiment with their emotional states, and now the social network is facing a backlash. While the results published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this month suggest Facebook’s interesting capacity to alter users’ emotional states via posts, more people are now concerned about the ethics guiding the study. Researchers stressed that when users sign up for Facebook, they technically agree to be party to such experiments. Facebook released an unapologetic statement to The Atlantic, claiming “We do research to improve our services and make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible. We carefully consider what research we do and have a strong internal review process.”

    Read it at The Washington Post