Facebook in for a major battle?

I just learned that Facebook made the blunder of conducting a massive psychological experiment on the users of its English-language version without their explicit consent. This is extremely unethical.

This is bound to have legal consequences.court

The Independent published about it today. The paper reporting the results of the experiment appeared in PNAS.

I hope to see class actions in every country that uses the English version of Facebook because this is most definitely not right. No amount of word-twisting by Facebook (or the researchers) can cover up that no users ever consented to this kind of experiment being carried out on them.

In addition, the university researchers involved in the study should be investigated and disciplined. If they were in my employ, I would sack them instantly.

They have damaged the scientific reputation of their universities and, in my view, do not belong in academia. I trust that Cornell University and the University of California will take the appropriate steps.

On the other hand, these researchers are highlighting a serious danger that lurks behind social media, but it does not appear that this was the motivation for their unforgivable conduct.


2 thoughts on “Facebook in for a major battle?

  1. 17 March 2018
    Now you know what the purpose of these experiments was:
    “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons.”

    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower

    (And still people haven’t abandoned Facebook, but at least the protests are getting louder and Cambridge Analytica has folded.)



  2. And this American lawsuit reveals juicy details of a different nature and you probably wish you never knew about any of it once you’ve read this, if you are still an avid Facebook user:

    Don’t get me wrong: because Facebook is so massively used, all social media marketing gurus indicate that you should be on Facebook to put your message out if you have a business or any kind of independent profession, and therein probably lies part of the problem. It is a Catch-22 for many people. Damned if you do (walk away from Facebook) and damned if you don’t.

    (I too have included Facebook in a course. How could I not?)


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