689, 003 is the magic number for facebook

Facebook is dealing with a huge swell of criticism after an act of transparency confirmed some of the long prevailing criticisms against the social media giant to be true. Facebook is often cited as manipulative in how users contribute content to the website and how the algorithms behind the site organize all that date into customized news feeds. Why does one piece of information come on top of another? Why are some users inundated with pictures and updates of certain friends over and over again?

Facebook just admitted it, in collaboration with researchers from Cornell and the University of California used 689,003 users to test how “contagious” emotions were. They wanted to see how  skewed emtional content would affect people’s activity. The study was conducted mere months after Facebook was legally admonished for freely distributing private user information, which many believed was being held in private.

For all the supposed outrage going around, is anyone deeply shocked or disturbed by this. You have to be fairly naive to not believe Facebook is not quantifying how valuable your personal information is for themselves and advertisers. It is an excellent lesson in that nothing is ever really free. The greater outcome from this will be the Facebook haters will still hate and those who are hopelessly addicted to the half-truths served up daily by their newsfeeds will keep clicking.

credit: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/06/28/facebook-manipulated-689003-users-emotions-for-science/


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