It turns out Facebook has been secretly running experiments to see if they could alter your mood by promoting happy or depressing things in your Facebook news feed.
Here’s more on this head shaking experiment from CNN:
Everyone has a bad day on occasion. But what if Facebook made it worse — on purpose, and without telling you?
Internet users have reacted angrily to news that Facebook researchers manipulated the content some users were shown in an attempt to gauge their emotional response.
For one week in early 2012, Facebook changed the content mix in the News Feeds of almost 690,000 users. Some people were shown a higher number of positive posts, while others were shown more negative posts.
The study found that users that were shown more negative content were more likely to produce negative posts. Users in the positive group responded with more upbeat posts.
So it worked. They were able to alter people’s moods by altering what they see while on the social network. This has widespread implications. How many breakups did Facebook cause? How many fights? One outraged Twitter user went as far as asking the question, could the Facebook had caused suicides?
“I wonder if Facebook KILLED anyone with their emotion manipulation stunt,” privacy activist Lauren Weinstein said on Twitter. “At their scale and with depressed people out there, it’s possible.”
I always had the concern and suspicion that Facebook did this type of bulls*it. And this experiments effects goes far past dating and relationships. Political elections, public opinion on wars, all of this is fair game. Just think of how they can decide, “We want racial tension” and fuel it by repeatedly pushing stories about racial violence and injustice in whites and blacks news feeds…. Dirty game Facebook…. Dirty game….