– Facebook Manipulated 689,003 Users’ Emotions for a Week for Questionable “Science” Research
– 42% of new mothers and 26% of new fathers exhibit signs of clinical depression, states a JAMA article.
– Seven out of 10 moms have a Facebook profile and check their pages more than any other demographic.
– Research editors admit, “Facebook may have involved practices that were not fully consistent with the principles of obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to opt out.”
New Parents Are An At-Risk Population – #notjoking.
Perhaps you didn’t notice the Nuremberg Code-bashing experiment, or maybe you are on the “business as usual” side of the ongoing and heated argument. But for a moment, imagine you are one of thousands of new American parents who, unlike their counterparts across the globe, are isolated because of the lack of a Family Leave Policy and disconnected culture and therefore an at-risk population for clinical depression. Not a slight risk either. As a 2010 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, states, “Three to six months postpartum — 42 percent of mothers and 26 percent of fathers exhibit signs of clinical depression.” Read more on The Trauma of Parenthood, in this NYT’s article.
Now imagine being one of these at-risk parents logging onto Facebook in dire need of human connection only to find an exclusively depressing stream of images and despondent posts from friends in a week-long science experiment you were unaware you were participating in because no one asked for your consent. What isn’t hard to imagine is, what if that mom hanging on by her fingernails skipped making that family meal, popped a Xanax or her kid, put everyone and herself to bed early hoping for a better day only to reach out for human support the next day, and the next, for a week of high-tech engineered doom and gloom? As the privacy activist Lauren Weinstein chillingly wrote in a Twitter post, “I wonder if Facebook KILLED anyone with their emotion manipulation stunt. At their scale and with depressed people out there, it’s possible.”
Is Facebook Unaware?
Is it possible that Facebook didn’t realize that its emotional manipulation of news feeds could impact vulnerable families, meaning mothers and their children? Not likely. The well-cited Edison’s 2013 Moms and Media research report reveals that 7 out of 10 moms have a Facebook profile and moms check in more than any other demographic at an average of 5.1 times a day. Moms are driving force behind all forms of social media. They knew.
Is Facebook Sorry?
“…a matter of concern that the collection of data by Facebook may have involved practices that were not fully consistent with the principles of obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to opt out.”
Is Facebook Evil?
Sorry to answer a question with a question, but why does it sometimes appear easier to look at the Bill Murray character, Frank Cross, from the movie Scroogedand name his actions as evil as he manipulates his television viewers with frightening imagery to make them “too terrified not to watch” the network’s Christmas show? I’d love to read your opinions below.