Facebook manipulated the emotions of its users to realise a study

Facebook manipulated the emotions of its users to realise a study
The study of emotional contagion of the groups was carried out between 700,000 English-speaker users and has brought about the annoyance of the internauts.


Facebook manipulated the information of about 700,000 English-speaker users for a scientific study on the emotional contagion of the groups, provoking preoccupation in the internauts this weekend.

Scientists of the universities of Cornell and California investigated if the number of positive or negative messages read by the members of Facebook had influence exceeds what they publish. During one week, from the 11 to the 18 of January of 2012, the company and the investigators they privily modified the system of algorithms of the network to manipulate the contents.

The result of the investigation, published the 17 of June in the magazine of the National Academy of American Sciences (PNAS), sample that the users use more negative words or positive according to the reach of the contents to which they are exposed.

“The emotional states are communicative and can be transmitted by a contagion effect, which leads the people to feel the same emotions without being conscious of it”, the authors wrote, whom they give by demonstrated “the reality of an emotional contagion of masses by means of the social networks”.

These results shocked to some users of Facebook who described as “alarming” the used methodology.

In a mail sent to AFP, the spokeswoman of the company, Isabel Hernández, assured that “the investigation was only realised during one week and no used data was bound to a person in particular”.






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