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Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment

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posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:01 PM
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Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state.

Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can!

..there was no need to ask study “participants” for consent, as they’d already given it by agreeing to Facebook’s terms of service in the first place.

Source

Well, Facebook has officially gone beyond mass collection of every little thing people post online... Now Facebook is being used to psychologically manipulate hundreds of thousands of people at once. But why stop there? Why not manipulate the entire userbase? The ability to do this is like a dream come true for TPTB.
As far as I understand, this is how it would work: Let's say TPTB want to promote Monsanto, for example. Someone posts something about Monsanto on Facebook, and suddenly, wherever you see posts about Monsanto, you also see nothing but cute cat videos and feel-good stories and other such things to manipulate you into subconsciously feeling like Monsanto is "good". On the other hand, if TPTB want you to dislike something, such as Ron Paul, they might surround posts about him with negativity, until you start associating Ron Paul with everything bad and no longer want to see or discuss him.

Facebook is the perfect TPTB weapon.
edit on 6/27/2014 by trollz because: (no reason given)



+14 more 
posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:04 PM
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And people actually worry about a Zombie Apocalypse??

It's already here...


+2 more 
posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:08 PM
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Its been happening for many years, just ask the television advertisers.

I'd suggest they already knew that it worked, its more likely they were wondering how far they could go without it being noticed.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:10 PM
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a reply to: trollz

I am so NOT surprised by this! I suspect they have done this for a long time now, with the "top stories" crap they push, instead of just everything our friends post. Unless I set it to "most recent", I get crap from the same people, mainly a lot of BS that doesn't interest me at all, from people with whom I barely communicate. Stories that I would comment on, I seldom see in the "top" stuff. Of course, THEY decide what is "top", not us, and it isn't based on what we do or with whom we interact most, either. All a massive head game.

I really, really wish distant family and friends would remember email and messenger services, and get off FB, instead of depending on it for virtually all communication! If it wasn't literally yhr only way to stay in touch with many, I wouldn't even have an account.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:14 PM
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a reply to: trollz



Someone posts something about Monsanto on Facebook, and suddenly, wherever you see posts about Monsanto, you also see nothing but cute cat videos


Ha, they can post as many cute cat videos as they want. Monsanto is still the devil.

And Facebook is the devil's right hand man.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:15 PM
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originally posted by: LadyGreenEyes
a reply to: trollz
I really, really wish distant family and friends would remember email and messenger services, and get off FB, instead of depending on it for virtually all communication! If it wasn't literally yhr only way to stay in touch with many, I wouldn't even have an account.


Yeah, I agree.
Everything was better back in the days when you had to actually call someone on the house phone if you wanted to talk to them. And then AIM... Sitting up all night chatting with people. Good times.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:30 PM
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I could tell something was wrong. Luckily i too can poke thier psychology.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: trollz

For me its not a matter of it being true or not true but just that it can be true because, if nothing else, the one thing that we have, proved, is that if it can be done, it will be done.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:33 PM
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a reply to: trollz

I have been saying this since its inception, why would we want to help out the government ie NSA, FBI, DHS, CIA pick a three letter agency and tell them who we know, our family members, where they are located, what we do, where we live, etc. I am sure they have this handy little digital map that has the entire FB system on it. They certainly have the computing power, and unlimited budgets.

Is this science or marketing? Or the science of marketing. Its all in how they can shape your response to everything from purchasing to voting. The TV used to be the ultimate propaganda manipulation tool, now I think its neck and neck with the computer.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 12:22 AM
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Like anyone puts their real details on Facebook or even on line lol and if you did well good luck with that.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 12:23 AM
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Did anyone besides me catch the wording in the last sentence of the article?




Facebook data scientist Adam Kramer is listed as the study’s lead author. In an interview the company released a few years ago, Kramer is quoted as saying he joined Facebook because “Facebook data constitutes the largest field study in the history of the world.” It’s a charming reminder that Facebook isn’t just the place you go to see pictures of your friends’ kids or your racist uncle’s latest rant against the government—it’s also an exciting research lab, with all of us as potential test subjects.

article



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 02:01 AM
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Did they take into consideration the characteristics of people who post things on FB. For example, did they look at age, probable intelligence quotient, and other characteristics posts can inform on? I have a FB but never post. I send a private message once and awhile. That is it. I see people post stuff like what they will be having for dinner and how that dinner then gave them gas. I've seem women complain of menstrual cramps. I've seen others confess to their sexual preferences or quirks. I seriously do not want to know these things, or to have a play by play of the mundane events of the day. Do we even communicate like this with our friends and family in face to face daily life? I don't. Therefore why do people do it with millions of others (if their profile is open)? Or with random friends added if the profile is closed?

Maybe someone needs to provide a guide on "how to use social media". I told my preteen son, "do not put anything in writing that you would not want read to all of the people at your school". It's dangerous and potentially damaging in more ways that manipulating people's minds. If your using care with what your posting it then becomes harder for people to gather data and manipulate you.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 02:15 AM
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Why is anyone surprised?

This has been an ongoing FB trend. Google searches are also tinkered. I have noticed some significant changes in the way google searches over the years.

The internet has more controls and with social media can be used for propaganda and ideology control in ways our forefathers never could have imagined.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 02:20 AM
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So to be able to even perform this experiment facebook must keep a running track of every ones emotions and what information they access. All fully automated as well as I cannot see a researcher going through 600,000 accounts looking at what was influenced and responded.

You would expect any company worth a few billion to be into some powerful stuff, but this does get kinda freaky with what is going on in the back rooms of facebook.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 02:46 AM
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originally posted by: trollz

originally posted by: LadyGreenEyes
a reply to: trollz
I really, really wish distant family and friends would remember email and messenger services, and get off FB, instead of depending on it for virtually all communication! If it wasn't literally yhr only way to stay in touch with many, I wouldn't even have an account.


Yeah, I agree.
Everything was better back in the days when you had to actually call someone on the house phone if you wanted to talk to them. And then AIM... Sitting up all night chatting with people. Good times.


AIM, or even Yahoo Messenger. I have a relative that wants to use chat, but is annoyed that I demand it be YM, instead of, get this, Facebook chat! She wants to CHAT on there. I explained that, normally, unless I am logged in, FB cookies are totally blocked on my computer. They track all over otherwise, even if you don't visit their site. I explained that I will NOT use that chat on any regular basis. So, her option is chat using a regular messenger, or talk on the phone. Most people using FB don't even use their chat; they just post on the wall, and comment back and forth there. Entire lives on a public bulletin board, for the world to see.

I miss the days when people wanted to actually talk to people!



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 02:49 AM
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a reply to: MarlinGrace

So right. Every single time I use FB, which is a couple of times a week, if that, the stupid thing wants to know my location, which I will NOT post. It wants the location where I did this or that job, which I will NOT post. It wants more contact info, such as a cell phone, which I will NOT post. You can't even tell the stupid system you aren't posting that, and be done with it. Constant nagging. I am sure some give in, just to make that stop. They even have apps in there to mark all the locations you have ever been. And people USE them. Calendars, to have your whole life tracked, day by day. Plus, any marketing agency knows that they can create very accurate profiles of most people, from all the things they post.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:11 AM
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originally posted by: LadyGreenEyes

originally posted by: trollz

originally posted by: LadyGreenEyes
a reply to: trollz
I really, really wish distant family and friends would remember email and messenger services, and get off FB, instead of depending on it for virtually all communication! If it wasn't literally yhr only way to stay in touch with many, I wouldn't even have an account.


Yeah, I agree.
Everything was better back in the days when you had to actually call someone on the house phone if you wanted to talk to them. And then AIM... Sitting up all night chatting with people. Good times.


AIM, or even Yahoo Messenger. I have a relative that wants to use chat, but is annoyed that I demand it be YM, instead of, get this, Facebook chat! She wants to CHAT on there. I explained that, normally, unless I am logged in, FB cookies are totally blocked on my computer. They track all over otherwise, even if you don't visit their site. I explained that I will NOT use that chat on any regular basis. So, her option is chat using a regular messenger, or talk on the phone. Most people using FB don't even use their chat; they just post on the wall, and comment back and forth there. Entire lives on a public bulletin board, for the world to see.

I miss the days when people wanted to actually talk to people!


This made me think of that movie Hot Tub Time Machine where the guy asks, "how do I get a hold of you" and the girl says, "you come and find me". The days of even having no cell phones is hard to remember. I'm bothered by how much I rely on mine. I want to remember how I got along without it. Can a person even get along without one in today's world? Do we still have pay phones anywhere? We also used to write checks or pay with cash. Maybe a credit card. There weren't debit cards. We have lost privacy ten fold in the last 40-50 years. I feel a sense of peace has been lost as well. Time has sped up as most of us are constantly plugged into something. I need to get out and take a walk in the woods this weekend. And leave the cell phone behind.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:27 AM
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a reply to: trollz

The ethics of conducting such a wide-spread study seem to be questionable. How does Facebook regard its customer base when they feel free to carry out social experiments on the basis of their T&Cs?? Make 'em happy then make 'em sad?

Aside from all that, it was an interesting idea to check emotional contagion across such a massive platform. The results are positive or negative depending on how folk choose to read them. The influence on emotions was recorded as d = 0.001 which is very small indeed. It signifies that, yes, emotions can be affected over social networks, but, no, not as much as you might fear.

When you're emotionally 'plugged in' to FB, the news feed will have an effect on your emotions...just like ATS does. However, you're way more emotionally affected by your real life and surroundings. This means that FB could screw about with your feed to make you sadder/happier all day long and it wouldn't matter in the scheme of things.

One aspect that makes the study novel is that real-life emotional contagion is thought to involve mirror neurons. These are usually firing in real-life situations like responding to facial expressions and emotional states of crowds and/or loved ones. The study suggests that they might be active when we read the +/- comments on the internet.

In the broader picture, emotional contagion has been demonstrated to be effective across social networks. I've noticed it on ATS since the Haiti earthquakes in 2010. Negative posts and members generate negative posts that suggest the moods of those responding members are also negative. For example, we might see someone stir up a lot of drama in a thread about guns or homosexuality - that's emotional contagion in play.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:36 AM
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a reply to: trollz

The scum bag progressive filth over at spybook are getting the flock ready for programing in a very real way. Are people so needy and pathetic in today's world they just have to use this crap?




People used to say if everyone jumped off a bridge would you........People are so apathetic of mind and body today this saying in old fashioned.........But I have to keep in contact with my friends and family.
edit on 28-6-2014 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 04:55 AM
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a reply to: Dianec

I remember the no cell phone days. Payphones all over, and even on BOOTHS. These days, I am not even sure where to FIND a payphone. Literally. At all. It's like they pulled them all to force us to all carry cell phones, or be totally cut off when not at home. I do like my phone; the alarm is used often, and texting is handy. It's also good for directions, or whatever. Still, was it that hard to walk in to some business and ask to see their phone book, to look up local restaurants or whatever? For emergencies on the road, though, a cell phone is a huge improvement. Having cars break down in traffic, or late at night, was what prompted me to finally get one. Kids in the car, rush hour traffic, and a stalled vehicle don't mix well. Most drivers being utterly self-absorbed jerks and honking a horn instead of offering to help made it almost vital.

I do resent the push away from cash. These days, you can't even GET military pay without a bank account. When I was in (dino days), you could, but not now. Add to that, our bank's closest office is over 30 miles away, so even withdrawing cash has to be a special trip. You can't easily rent a car without a credit card. Credit scores are deemed important, but if you pay everything up front and are responsible, it's difficult to build a good one. I even recall some commercials that made cash payers look "outdated", and showed them as causing "delays" for other shoppers. Of course, if you want off the grid these days, you "must be a terrorist".




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