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Facebook apologizes for manipulating users moods for experiment.

Facebook appears to have found a loophole for getting way with being generally unethical. That is, they do whatever the hell they want, trampling on users like dirt. When they get caught, they apologize and move on, expecting to be considered ethical because they apologized. 

Here's the latest: 

https://www.facebook.com/akramer/posts/10152987150867796

And here's some more: 

Facebook Apologizes To Khalil Shreateh, Indiegogo Account Gives $10k To Palestinian Hacker.

http://www.ibtimes.com/facebook-hacker-rewarded-facebook-apologizes-khalil-shreateh-indiegogo-account-gives-10k-palestinian

Facebook Apologizes For Ads Featuring Photos of Suicide Victim

http://mashable.com/2013/09/18/facebook-rehtaeh-parsons/

Facebook apologizes for closing Arab-Israeli journalist’s page

http://www.stljewishlight.com/news/world/article_f0c5dabf-d510-59a9-b82d-806d963df376.html

Facebook apologizes for threatening Conservative 'Chicks'

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_facebook-apologizes-for-threatening-conservative-chicks_1792210

Facebook apologizes for blocking Gay Marriage USA founder

http://www.dailydot.com/news/facebook-gay-marriage-usa-murray-lipp/

Facebook apologizes for releasing contact information of 6 million users.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-security/important-message-from-facebooks-white-hat-program/10151437074840766

When is the public and the press going to call Facebook on their cynical apology game?
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115 comments
 
"It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission."
 
Yep... But if it wasn't made public they would never have apologized. Typical... Get caught then say I am sorry.
Jon Uzel
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We're sorry (that we got caught). We promise it won't happen again (until next time). We're working hard to make things right (are you still watching? Can we stop now?)
 
Mistakes and apologizes again n again.. 
tobby o
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We all see a pattern here, +Mark Zuckerberg needs an intervention.
 
Facebook is the rich brat douchebag of the Internet. 
 
In my opinion it's a big stretch to say they manipulated user's emotions. 
 
Very strange since both Obama and Zuckerberg are Liberal Scumbags! 
 
you never know what you're going to see on fb.  the news feed varies based on which device you're currently using, if it forgot that you only want to see most recent vs. top stories, if certain posts contain key words that automatically get prioritized, etc.  i hate it. 
 
I expect fb to act the way they do, I still hold irb's and researchers responsible for the ethical failings of the latest escapade.
 
They are only sorry they got caught not sorry for what they did. It's way time they were called to account 
 
Somehow, I don't really feel better about this.
 
Isn't it a criminal offence to release contact information with any business that deals with the public. I maybe wrong but if you are after that sort of information isn't there a process that you have to abide by like going to an official government establishment like a court house to get the official forms for the freedom of information act. By not doing this you are inviting criminals into your life. You have to show enough identification just to get a library card in this country. Putting lives at risk by handing out information like Facebook has.
 
+Jon Uzel +Daryl Hunt No I fear its worse than that. They knew the paper on the study would be published (that was the point) and they didn't care. I bet they had the apology written years ago.
 
+Mike Elgan Thanks for raising this issue and asking the question. Years ago, my concerns over Facebook's unethical actions with regard to user privacy and rights made me decide not to join and use Facebook. I wrote a number of blog posts about the topic. Five years later, I'm still happy with my decision.
 
If you don't like the terms of service you signed, then feel free to leave. 
 
It was when my friends couldn't see some of my posts even going to my page that I ditched Facebook. Called the apology as a farce earlier on my G+ tonight. They're digging their own grave.
 
Hmmm he does a lot of apologizing huh? That'd why I left that website after highschool... its been years since ive been on the site but at the same time I think something should be done.

Leaving the cesspool is a good start people..
 
+Neil Beaven, isn't part of the problem that Facebook changes the terms of service periodically; and, after it has a particular pattern of behavior trained, where you just are signing in, it will slip in a quick notice that the terms of service have changed. 

OK, the user must beware. That's why i deactivated my Facebook account and am living happily ever after here.
 
Easier to ask for forgiveness then permission...
 
+Jeff Sayre I did the same. All but my closest family still think it's stupid I don't have one.
 
+Jefferson Martin the difference is that this is a published scientific study and as a result it has to conform to established ethical guidelines, which it clearly did not.

I'm surprised it made it past the editor of +PNAS, even with that journal's lack of external peer review for select articles.
 
...someone paying my therapist for messing with my mood? come of it guys.
 
+Brad Acker personally I dislike them using my name to advertise to my friends for products I've never used. But, its within their rights. Facebook owes me nothing. 
 
My Facebook account is not only deactivated for a long time now but it is now deleted!. Google+ more than fills any gap.
 
+Kathryn van Nieuwkerk - that's the interesting thing isn't it. I don't know enough about this area of law to really judge myself but it seems there are a couple of problems with that reasoning. First - if anyone involved took any public funding at all, they are subject to the same ethical guidelines as other public research. It seems likely that this was the case. Second, does accepting a website's 'Terms of Service' really constitute informed consent for a study like this - especially when said ToS refers to 'internal research' which this clearly isn't. 
 
If you don't like the way Facebook is using the data you willing give it, stop using the FREE service.
 
+Chris Whittleston I suppose they can say it's internal of they hire the people? I dunno, law is not my thing either but I'm sure they did they bare minimal not to break it. It's the ethical issues which are a worry.
 
+Michael Coyle don't get me wrong - I totally agree with you that the net can be a pretty hostile place. People can say some pretty terrible things, especially when they think they can remain anonymous.

Having grown up as the internet developed, I think maybe I don't understand what it's like to be a kid now with a Facebook account.
 
I deleted my Facebook account a while back due to things like this. Even if those weren't good reasons, I felt as if I was either mentally coasting (from reading the quality of posts on there), or worse, getting dumber.

Although if users' moods were getting significantly affected because Facebook was "messing with their feeds", I wouldn't exactly put 100% of the blame on Facebook...
 
+tobby o, yes, we all see the pattern and we saw it also in Richard Nixon (those of us old enough to remember). But, as the late Senator Howard Baker put it regarding Nixon and Watergate, the question is “What did the president know, and when did he know it?" If Zuckerberg authorized this study or learned about it and did not take corrective actions to prevent such psychological manipulation of “his subjects" without their express consent in the future, then it is time for the Zuckerberg impeachment proceedings to commence.
 
This is why I love the G+ integration with +YouTube +Michael Coyle, it has really helped push those stupid/disgusting comments down the feed so I hardly see them any more.

The only danger of systems like that is that taking it a bit further, you might just end up talking to people who agree with or think like you in a virtual echo chamber - and that would be pretty boring wouldn't it!
 
I did not go thru all of those but would be nice to match links with independent explanation of what  it is so horrible they did.
 
Fun fact. When you don't delete your account but refuse to login, Facebook will email you begging you to check your messages and notifications.
 
This is way people should stop using sites like Facebook. Remember how he stole the concept from the Twins and said it was his back in his college days. I hope that people start to look at social media a bit closers than they do. We get hurt in the end thanks Facebook!
 
As long as you people keep giving Facebook a pass, by using it, no matter what their criminal acts, they'll keep doing them. So stop using it. That is the only way these corporations learn. When you hit them in their wallet.
 
hmmm ...I wonder if there are other secret experiments currently being conducted on the unknowing public
SA SA
 
Everyone just move over to g+ better for your health
 
" Facebook apologizes for releasing contact information of 6 million users." Legally, Facebook is allowed to do this. As soon as users sign up for the social network, they agree to give up their data for analysis, testing and research. In this case, however, it's not the research people are criticizing — it's the manipulation of data without users' prior consent or knowledge.
 
But what other do we have +Mike Elgan? With Google+ being a ghost town and me only having all my friends, family and business associates actively using it now... :P
 
They get away with it because people keep using it.

There is an easy way to fix that.
 
A local news station put a post on facebook about this manipulation and the majority of peoples responses were "so what?" "What do you want for free?" "If you don't like it leave." Only one person was angry at facebook. It was eye opening to say the least.
 
They get away with it because so many users are absolutely oblivious about the true consequences of what they are actually doing with their information or how they are using it They are helpless to stop it. So many have invested so much time in FB to build up their businesses and contacts and there is no social network that you can just transfer your contacts to and wham bam carry on as before. In order to leave FB you either  let go of all your contacts ..which for many is an emotional tie and others the business investment. Starting from scratch for businesses is hight risk and costs money and I personally have not managed to get anyone over to G+ for any length of time from FB for example..because it simply isn't the same platform it's something completely different.

So people stick their heads in the sand..ignore it and hope that legislators will eventually kick their butt or someone else with money,time and a huge back team will take them on.. 
 
Mark Zuckerberg has built a huge empire, and like all Empires, they will fall, and they will become nothing but distant memories.
 
Deleted my Facebook two months ago. Couldn't be more happy .
 
I don't give important information i keep it all to myself couse now adays can't trust nobody all i do is comment or just surf i don't even put my gps on course that's how they find you so when. They ask put gps on don't do in on fb ppl get over with fake name and all i know a few ha;-)

 
+James Pitts sorry to tell your Facebook is not deleted all that information they keep,fb is being handled by police officer they owned it thats why they ask so many information inoder join
 
Well, their mantra is "Move fast and break things."
 
In explaining the reasons for the experiment, the main Facebook researcher noted that “we were concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook.” This is actually a remarkable admission of what the true motives behind this research actually were. They were trying to make the network more sticky, and so, to keep users coming back, they tested out a way to deliberately distort reality. 
http://www.the-vital-edge.com/facebook-experiment/
 
He owes everyone. CIA behind his back pulling strings.
 
I hesitate when I hear the excuse time and time again "(insert company name) has that right" or "(company name) owes you nothing". They are a provider of a service. You would be a client or customer of that service. Perhaps this is a broad generalization, but if you or I were to own a business and provide a service, be it paid for or free, there is an expectation there. Am I really that 'old school' in thought, or has the way of customer service (because that is essentially what we are talking about here) to provide an honest, reliable, and reasonable standard of care gone completely out the window? If we start making the excuse that it is just the way of the world, or because they can make their user policies longer, more vague, and more difficult to understand, that that somehow makes it the clients fault... then we get into some very slippery territory. 
 
I'll tell you about a mood study.  Since I have been sharing and communicating through G+ and avoiding Facebook, my mood has been substantially better.  It's been rather eye opening learning the minute to minute daily lives of those around me on Facebook.  This has been more educating and diverse.  DISCLAIMER... I am in no way related to or acquainted with anyone from G+ ;-)
 
Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks.We show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.
http://m.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full
 
Sure apologize AFTER the deed has been done.  That makes it all better.  
 
How about not emotionally investing ones self in a friggin website? Can't possibly do that... 
 
Facebook really needs to get it act together. 
 
He's not sorry for the $$$ he made doing it, he's sorry he got caught 
 
I really found this to be a non-story About what Facebook did for one week. I would expect nothing less from them to try to figure out the best way to get engagement into their product.
 
haha.. Facebook +1.. Banter.. 
 
All I know is that for some reason I feel strangely better about the whole thing now that I've read the apology.
 
FB is just of MANY others that do this....no big deal. been done since the 60's
 
I think they should be ashamed of themselves and apologize. 
 
And people wonder why I never got on Facebook!!
 
+Neil Beaven +Lee Rickler you misunderstand the main problem, which is that because of the virtual monopoly power FB still holds, refusing to use it comes with significant costs. I have lost business, friends, and continue to erode friendships and family relationships because of my hardline stance against FB. I am not embarrassed or ashamed of this. As far as I see, it's like being that one lone voice pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes. At first there is disbelief and resistance. Eventually people wake up and realise they've been fooled by their own vanity and pretensions, their desire to fit in, and (I expect in many cases, begrudgingly) they will join us over here. We're still a way away from waking everyone up because the tailor Zuckerberg is really fucking clever and manipulative. But the time is coming when the majority will turn against him, sick of his narcissistic appeals to vanity and little else. 
 
Mike, you're real jerk for pointing this out about Facebook. Oh, Mike, I'm sorry for offending you by calling you a jerk. Feel better?
 
+Cass Edwards it appears to me as if you are also misunderstanding the main problem. For someone such as yourself who so heavily relies on Facebook, your loss of privacy seems like a miniscule biproduct. The alternative is that you can either STOP PROVDING DATA TO BE MINED or use another service that doesn't do this.

You can't hold capitalism against Facebook. That's society. That's not a problem with Facebook its with your fellow man.

What do you expect out of Facebook, a completely free service.
 
Also, lol@losing friends and family over Facebook. You need to unplug for a while.


 
+Neil Beaven please read what I wrote, I REFUSE to use Facebook, EVER. That is the opposite of relying on it, but the effect of being excluded from events etc because I refuse on principle is very high in social terms. 
 
+Cass Edwards honestly, what it all boils down to is you choose to, or choose not to use Facebook. A free service. 
 
+Neil Beaven no, it's not that simple. FB costs everyone in many different ways that are both financial and not financial, whether you choose to use it OR NOT. That is not acceptable. But the good thing is the tide is slowly turning, as more people realise the costs to themselves and their friends, and that the site is anything but "free". 
 
Honestly, I'm not down with arguing the philanthropic stance of Facebook with a girl with green hair. 
 
Our moods are never manipulated here..lol.
 
As is complaining about a free social media network which is kind enough to indiscriminatorily invite any user of any belief to partake in their services. 
 
I was on Facebook for well over a year and it was absolutely nauseating. I like it here WAY better. :)
 
ITT: we all pretend to have absolutely zero business sense. 
 
It seems like an annual event with them: getting caught doing something that makes people question why someone would even want to be on Facebook.

Sorry, Facebook, I choose not to allow you to privatize and monetize my personal information.
 
Heck, I loved it! It was like drugs...Give me more... :-)
 
Fuck you Facebook
Spy.eu
 
facebook and google track everyone and know everything about us 
 
Incisive, researched and robust as always but if I may +Mike Elgan:
1- manipulating users mood is actually the core business of ad sponsored media (thats how you maximize impulsive behaviors in general and purchase intent in particular), specifically TV.
2- Apologizing is not a bad business practice. Apologizing a lot seems to me a good sign: they are pushing the boundaries.
Not sure what to blame here, unless you want to blame a broader systemic issue that goes far beyond Facebook: when its free, you are the product, (unless there is a broader consideration at stake)
 
Facebook is a big trash. Thats why im using G+ ^^
 
JUST ONE of the reasons I bailed from FB!!
And as far as blocking anything "gay"...You shouldn't even be on the site if you can't handle diversity of any kind.
 
This guy is a scheisty butthole. He's playing a game of 'murican capitalism and he's winning. 
 
Um. See, here's the thing: Fecebook users are not the customers, they are the product. They don't get a say in how Fecebook works or what it does any more than Doritos get a vote on what make of truck takes them on what route to get to the store, and whether and when and by whom they get eaten.

There is a solution, but it's really complex and difficult. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Delete your Fecebook account.

If you're going to bleat and whinge "eeeeeee, but my friends are on there!!!", then follow this alternate procedure:

1. Shut up about Fecebook's abuses. You asked for it and you keep coming back for more. 
 
tout ça c'est de la manipulation humaine pour mettre de l'hypocrisie dans notre coeur ces salauds
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