Many people are shocked and even outraged over Facebook’s news feed experiments. Reality is – this stuff happens to you all of the time.–PC Pitstop.
Facebook Experimented On You
By Leo Notenboom
About that Facebook test…
Facebook did some testing. It’s made some people upset. What’s important to realize is that testing is ubiquitous on the web and happens in many different ways.
This week, tech news and social media were all up in arms about a test that Facebook had performed a few years back.
The test was very simple: for a small subset of users, Facebook tweaked the algorithm that decides what posts to show you. Group A got slightly more negative posts displayed in their feed, and group B got slightly more positive posts. The net effect is that people in group A went on to share slightly more negative posts themselves, whereas the folks in group B posted slightly more positive things.
Now, I’m not going get into the ethics of the test, or the tap dancing around Facebook’s terms of service that apparently occurred. This isn’t even about whether Facebook’s actions were good or evil, right or wrong or something else (though I will touch on one of the outcomes of the test and how it has direct relevance to something I’m doing.)
Nope. This is about a greater reality that I think you need to be aware of.
You’re being experimented on all the time.
This excerpt appears with permission from Leo Notenboom.