Facebook contagion study contagion

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No less than 4 different people alerted me on my Facebook feed to the study on sentiment analysis and Facebook feeds Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. There is quite a number of media reports on it researchers like Tal Yarkoni and Brian Keegan have commented on it. I have put some pointers on the Brede Wiki.

Lars Kai Hansen states that he “doubt[s] emotional filtering is routine at [Faacebook].”

I think that Facebook is actually doing emotional filtering. Here is a comment I made on a thread in Facebook: Doesn’t the brouhaha show how naïve Facebook users are? These A/B-testings occur all the time. Twitter and Facebook are continuously optimizing the news feed ordering (at least I should think so). Having sentiment analysis as a component is just one feature. If they didn’t do that the data scientists would not be worth their job. If you as a user care about privacy and not being manipulated you should stop using these social media. I suppose that for the scientist involved and possibly PNAS it is a bit of an issue if the IRB is not there. Susan Fiske seems not to be quite clear on that point.

One thought on “Facebook contagion study contagion

    Lars Kai Hansen said:
    June 29, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    There is a huge difference between pursuing known business objectives, such as optimizing advertising and conducting scientific research involving “harm to subjects”

    The study is affiliated with Cornell, where the IRB reads:

    “Cornell University operates a Human Research Protection Program to protect the rights and welfare of individuals who volunteer to participate in the research mission of the University. ”


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