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Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment

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posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 05:01 AM
i don't wanna play devils abnacat here, but fb's t&c's clearly outline their data use policy: you post it, it's all theirs. they can use it, sell it, spin it, or trash it. check the box and get reamed. totally consensually, of course. and, you know, they published the results. totally open when they were under no obligation to be. if emotional manipulation is a social ill, then take the pitchforks to madison avenue and have at the swine. after all, they've been pulling this # for decades with no repercussions.

and hey, isn't cool to know that we can spread emotional states that way? i think so, but i'm kind of an optometrist, I guess.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 05:22 AM
Hmmm...Facebook T&C allows for them to use their *millions* of members as lab rats in a social control experiment. And it worked.

How much would governments pay for that?

Silent weapons for quiet's real.

edit on 6/28/2014 by kosmicjack because: (no reason given)
extra DIV

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 05:29 AM
a reply to: AreUKiddingMe
Yes, I noticed. It's obvious this thing called Facebook as been a manipulated social experiment and opportuistic tool from the beginning. Wouldn't touch it or anyone who forces me there businesswise or tries to make me "like" something if you paid me. It's a cesspool, and unfortunately, it's spreading disease, even to places like ATS. There is very little benefit to it.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 05:37 AM

originally posted by: kosmicjack
Hmmm...Facebook T&C allows for them to use their *millions* of members as lab rats in a social control experiment. And it worked.

How much would governments pay for that?

Silent weapons for quiet's real.

And here I thought the government had direct access to their servers just like they do googles.
edit on 28-6-2014 by MarlinGrace because: (no reason given)
extra DIV

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 05:47 AM
I'm everlastingly thankful that I never fell into the social media trap. We've resisted all the whining of our relatives who want to "keep up" on some media site rather than in person or on the phone. They are terribly vexed that they can't text me because I don't have a cell phone and they can't Twitter me because I don't have any social media accounts.
Like the man said, "I'm a cultural infidel."

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 08:18 AM
Good. If people are still using facebook they deserve to be 'tinkered' with.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 08:32 AM
S&F. I like that there is a link to an actual scientific paper. I had to email the link to my wife who swears up and down that im just a tinfoil hat wearing paranoid weirdo. this should be good.

Edit: even with the proof and admission she STILL refuses to believe what is right in front of her.
edit on 6/28/2014 by EyesOpenMouthShut because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 09:22 AM
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes

FB has raised some flags for me over the years. The data mining it prompts us for appears to becoming increasing personal. The other day I was prompted to pick books I read from a list which is one way to get some insight on a person's knowledge and ideology. The weird thing was, I could only pick from the list, when I would search for a book that I like, I had no way to add it to my list.

FB has apparently become a huge data mining project. I am curious to find out what they are doing with all this data(besides trying to sell us stuff we don't need).

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 10:38 AM
The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 11:46 AM
You know, there also were some psychological studies on Facebook users, this time with permission, to see if people's likes or response from others on FB had positive or negative effects on people. I think they found that indeed, those who didn't receive responsiveness from others relative to others experienced negative psychological reactions, including self-esteem issues.

I myself have experienced on there strange things. Some of my best friends once told me that many of my posts and pictures don't show up in their FB feeds, whereas others do.

This begs the question, are the algorithms or settings FB uses purposely "pumping up" certain kinds of perspective, views, language, etc? If one is not supportive in their outlook of mainstream beliefs, or foreign policy, or what have you, do algorithms and settings downplay your posts in the feed so that you have less influence on others?

Or, is it that because such views are not mainstream, they simply get less positive feedback/popularity, and hence don't show up as much?

originally posted by: trollz

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.


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.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 12:10 PM
Lol, most people do. I'm not saying whether it is wise or not, but on FB arguably the majority of profiles are relatively accurate. At most people change their profile name to a nickname or fun name.

originally posted by: Legion2024
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 @ 01:14 PM
They are starting to learn how to manipulate people through active viewing. They have been doing this for years with passive viewing. Couch potatoes watching TV are constantly manipulated. Before I gave up on MSM, I was getting P.O.ed by news casters. On certain stories they would smile and nod their up and down and on other stories they would furrow their brow and nod their head back and forth. I began to catch on when I would see a political story and found my self feeling like I was arguing with the newscaster. I began to wonder why that was happening when the news is supposed to be about the facts. Then I realized that I was picking up on the news casters body language. And that was probably when I first realized that the talking head was actually a tool of manipulation.

Manipulation requires directing peoples emotions and the more they do it, the more trained the sheeple become.

If you watch the MSM, watch the national news not the local news those people are not skilled enough to manipulate anyone, and just watch the physical movements and facial expressions of the news anchor closely. I think you'll become aware. For most networks it goes like this, Ron paul = frowny face
. Second Amendment/patriots/ tea party = angry face
Pelosi/feinstein/gun control = hopeful face
, Kardashian/new car models/ new home construction = big smiley face

The fact that active viewing is going to be manipulated means that you will have to even more aware.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 02:02 PM
Thanks for posting, now that i'm concious about it i'm harder to manipulate

a reply to: trollz

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 02:45 PM
a reply to: Kandinsky

The effect and measurement of social contagion are actually one of the subjects of the Minerva Research Initiative. Social media was heavily used in Egypt, Nigeria, Turkey and Russia as a way to basically fuel protests there and Cornell University studied the relationship. It's being touted as being the "Pentagon preparing for massive civil unrest" by the usual suspects of curious news reporting with implications towards the states but I think that's an eye of the beholder situation. At its base, I could also see propaganda based uses for this to destabilize enemy countries. Social media has changed the social landscape in tremendous ways and made the idea of "social contagion" a really big deal at the end of the day. Of course they're going to study it in that light.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:02 PM
This is nothing new, Facebook just does it better than most people you know. Remember, emotional manipulation is something we all do on a daily basis, no matter to what degree. From compliments to snarky replies to how we dress to the car we drive, we are manipulating people into seeing us a certain way, feeling a certain way about us. Happens all the time. We want more money so we can afford more elaborate illusions. We want more toys so we can compete in more expensive social races.

We just don't like it when it gets thrown back in our face.
edit on 28-6-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:28 PM
Since FB has proven they can manipulate someones emotional state, does this now make them responsible if someone goes off the deep end because of this manipulation? Suicide, murder, assault, etc - Will we be seeing the Facebook mind control defense soon?

LadyGreenEyes: With over a billion users, I don't think it's fair to say that "Most people using FB don't even use their chat". I use it almost every day - while away from home to keep in touch with my wife, and since I live outside of the US now, to keep in touch with family and friends back in the US (especially useful because of the time difference and cost of international calls - send the message and whenever they happen to log it, it's there waiting for them). Sadly, FB chat has been more effective for me to contact co-workers in the US for work related questions than official work channels - of course we have e-mail, but also use Microsoft Lync (basically Messenger for the corporate world), and again, because of the time difference I have a better chance of reaching someone right away using FB. Maybe they are not at their computer or are at home after work hours and they get the message on their phone.

Perhaps your circle of friends doesn't use it with you because you are not on very often and refuse to, but that doesn't mean most people don't use it... And just because people banter back and forth in public doesn't preclude the use of chat.

I understand the privacy concerns with FB cookies and a simple way around that is to install the Facebook Messenger app on your smartphone - with over 100 million downloads of the Android version, I'd say a whole lot of people DO use FB to chat... And if there are any of the permissions of the app you don't like, there's an app to selectively block them.

With respect to privacy in general, especially after the recent NSA revelations, if you live in the modern world, have a cell phone, internet service, drive a car, or go anywhere in public there might be surveillance cameras, then privacy is pretty much gone. If the right people want to find out everything about you, they will. Granted that doesn't mean you have to post every aspect of your life on-line like many people do (I find that quite annoying as well). I think the only way to completely avoid it is to live off grid an become a hermit.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:30 PM
The majority of our decisions are influenced strongly by what the norm is, what resonates with us on an emotional or logical level. Before technology that was all in little bits and took time to spread. Little Betty doesn't think much about baby dolls and is satisfied with the one she has had for years - in 1914.
In 2014 Betty is never satisfied because she has constant stimuli bombarding her.

To what degree has technology set us up for a decline in evolution? To what degree has it set us up for an upswing in our ability to survive and thrive in quality of life?

If it could be quantified:

I am going to guess and say there is not a significant difference on some level. I. E. - those who followed Hitler when technology was in its infancy were influenced largely by emotion, so what would that look like today? Going back further, when Caesar ruled, people could not see grimaces or smiles on a tv, or integrate cues on a sensory level. Still, they were influenced by the external environment. Therefore, in this way I don't think technology has had a significant impact on the human tendency to let emotions drive their decisions. It hasn't really helped us evolve in that capacity, yet.

On another level it has had a significant impact. Time has sped up. We look down more than up, and are distracted continually by stimuli. We are finding this has some detrimental effects in the developing brain, but other than social distancing via no need to engage face to face, how is it changing us?
Is it a detriment because we are rarely taking time to think independently? Are we becoming more dependent on outside influences to drive our decisions by default (subtly)?
I. E., before technology there was less social stimuli to influence decisions (Betty and her doll). Today there is a never ending stream of influences flowing in. This is good in that we are gaining knowledge at lightening speed but what is the trade off? Where is our focus being drawn continually? Were are the ongoing distractions taking us?

In the end is technology making us more susceptible to manipulation or less? Smarter in all ways or only some ways? It sort of makes me think about the jump from cave people to what we are today. While it is a big stretch, I can 'almost' imagine us being a completely different version of human one day. Meaning, if we could move forward would we say, "I can't imagine how they survived in those early days".

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:46 PM
You've gotta laugh!....Facebook tells you in no uncertain terms what it will do with your personal details via it's T&C's then goes on to actually publish reports of what it has done with those said details....... and the results!

Yet people still claim they are the devil incarnate!................priceless!

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 03:57 PM
Not surprising.

It's a great place to use for research. I don't have Facebook, but I occasionally look at others profiles out of curiosity. It's a research tool for me.

People post far too many details about their lives and every person who is in their life, becomes an unwilling participant.

ATS is another great place to get a feel of how people are thinking or to plant ideas.

Re: influencing thoughts. Very easy to do.

posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 04:28 PM
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes

I really, really wish distant family and friends would....get off FB

In Obi-Wan's voice...."Be the change you seek young Jedi"

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