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Sebastian Kurscheid
38 followers -
Bioinformatician studying the epigenetic regulation of transcription using integrative genomics methodologies.
Bioinformatician studying the epigenetic regulation of transcription using integrative genomics methodologies.

38 followers
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Like Orphan Black? Awesome Dub from the last season 2 episode

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I have started to use this amazing service. Give it a try! #FriendsPlusMe +Friends+Me

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German psychologist opines that #FaceBook study should be retracted based on participant deception, failure to obtain informed consent and non-disclosure of study design and results #ft #nq

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A juristic opinion on #FaceBook's violation of users rights for making them unwitting participants in a psychology experiment #ft #nq

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Apparently the FaceBook terms of use/data use contain a clause which means that FB users are giving implicit consent for the participation in research. A study has recently been published by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (a well-respected journal, which albeit also has a track record of publishing some rather shoddy science) which describes how the manipulation(!) of the content of users' News Feeds was used to elicit emotional responses. What does this actually mean? In a nutshell: The employees of Facebook (social scientists supposedly) used algorithms to subtly manipulate the content that was appearing in users' news feed so that one group was presented with overall more emotionally positive content, while another group saw content that contained more emotionally negative content. Apparently there are well defined "playbooks" in social science/psychology which are commonly used in experiments to perform emotional manipulation. This is exactly was FB has done here on a unprecedented scale (N = 689,003 users) and importantly without informed consent of the users. According to the published results, the experiment was a success, i.e. users that saw more negative content responded with comments which showed signs of a more negative emotional state (and vice versa). So, why should we care? Facebook does not only use our personal data, and profiles our online behavior (far and beyond than what you do here on FB!) but they also intentionally change the content of news feeds to manipulate their users' emotional states. What can we do about it? Stop using Facebook...

On a side note: Researchers would probably never be able to receive government funding for such a study as no explicit informed consent was obtained from participants, and journals which adhere to the COPE standards (Committee on Publication Ethics) would normally not publish data which does not have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.

TL/DR: Facebook can and does manipulate the content we see in our news feeds to manipulate our emotional states and we have given them the rights to do so.

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full

#t #facebook  

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Bioinformatics/CompBio community on G+ - worth a look! #t #nq

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"Rate of elongation by RNA polymerase II is associated with specific gene features and epigenetic modifications" #t #paywall #epigenetics #RNA #transcriptome #nq
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/24/6/896

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