Why Facebook’s Latest Breach of Trust is the Worst Yet

Be Young & Shut Up


It came out this week that in 2012, Facebook ran a short but very large experiment on its technically willing, but uninformed, user base. Users’ newsfeeds were tweaked to show status updates and links of varying levels of emotional content. Some users were shown a higher concentration of negative or sad stories, some users got the opposite, in an effort to discover if Facebook’s general climate can effect emotional change. Obvious but upsetting conclusion: yes it can. The result of the study is unsurprising, but it’s hardly the point. Facebook is where we store and present our life to the world. It’s always seemed to me to be in a place where it has a responsibility to its users to be safe, stable, and trustworthy. In practice, of course, it neglects this duty and instead acts as any capitalist entity would, by exploiting the vast stores of data and potential…

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