A short list of experiments Facebook has used on you
At this point, everyone knows what Facebook is and what it isn't. The company hasn't done the best job of hiding secrets; which is possibly a factor related to their own shotty privacy protocols? We digress ...
The reality is, one of out every four people in the world are estimated to have an account on the platform, a corporate power unseen in any archives of history. And like it's said many times over, with great power comes a great responsibility — however the tech giant may not be heeding that age-old advice. Over the years, it's spent millions trying to figure out how humans work, with some of their experiments becoming public knowledge and ultimately appearing like a fucked up dystopian nightmare.
Question is: If this is what we do know, what is it we don't?
Emotion Control (2012)
Users Tested: ~700,000
Recap: Data scientists artificially tweaked newsfeeds to see if they could manipulate users’ real life emotions.
Conclusion: Co-author of the study Adam Kramer eventually copped to the shady fuckery, stating the company did the experiment because it’s “worried” about the wellbeing of its users.
Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty (2014)
Users Tested: Unknown
Recap: In an effort to see how loyal users are, Facebook sent out artificial errors to purposefully crash its app on Android phones.
Conclusion: Speaking about the success of the test, one anonymous inside source claimed, “People never stopped
Fake News (2017)
Users Tested: A “select few,” said Facebook.
Recap: The site tried prioritizing comments with the word “fake” in them to see if it dissuaded people from engaging further.
Conclusion: Bust. It pissed off users and likely increased the gap of trust the social media giant currently finds itself embedded in.