Facebook under investigation for “mood experiment”

A recent mood experiment conducted by the Facebook team recently made the news, posing the question of whether it was ethical or not. Well, it’s won’t be up for debate for long, now the government themselves are taking cards.

facebook social experiment

A data watchdog from the UK is conducting an investigation that will attempt to determine whether Facebook Inc has violated data-protection laws while allowing a group of researchers to conduct a “mood experiment” on their users. The experiment was conducted on about 700,000 users in 2012, who were shown specifically more positive or negative posts in their respective newsfeeds in order to analyze their reactions. The idea? To determine whether Facebook could alter the emotional state of their userbase by prompting them to specific content.

Greg Jones, the watchdog responsible for the investigation, said it was “too early” to determine what part or parts of the law Facebook could have infringed, but the whole issue could lead to a fine of up to 500,000 pounds ($839,500 USD). Facebook answered by saying it would work with the regulators, and change anything that needs to be changed.

Matt Steinfeld, a Facebook  spokesman, explained that “It’s clear that people were upset by this study and we take responsibility for it. The study was done with appropriate protections for people’s information and we are happy to answer any questions regulators may have.”

Source: Huffington Post

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