Facebook normally regulates its users’ news feeds, testing out the number of ads they see or the size of photos that appear, frequently without their knowledge. It is all for the purpose, the company says, of creating a more alluring and useful product.
Only last week, Facebook let on that it had manipulated the news feeds of over half a million randomly selected users to alter the number of positive and negative posts they saw.
The company says users consent to this sort of manipulation when they correspond to its terms of inspection and repair. Merely in the quick judgment on the Internet, that controversy was not universally admitted.
If Facebook KILLED anyone with their emotion control stunt. On their scale and with depressed people out in that respect, it’s possible,” the privacy activist Lauren Weinstein wrote in a Twitter post.
Facebook didn’t do anything illegal, but they didn’t act correctly by their customers, stated Brian Blau, a technology analyst with Gartner, a research house.
The social network’s administration of its users’ feelings without their knowledge antagonized its own negative reaction. Few users of Facebook and critics suggested that the company had crossed an ethical boundary.