Feeds

Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

It makes (y)our content 'more engaging'

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Facebook has hit back at its critics after the social network instructed researchers to meddle with its users' "news feeds" in order to manipulate their emotions.

The free-content ad network sparked anger when it emerged its data scientist Adam Kramer gave a green light to trick-cyclists to filter out positive and negative posts seen by 700,000 people to see how they would react.

While Kramer offered a personal apology in a blog post explaining his motivations for the controversial study, published by PNAS, Facebook itself was in a much less repentant mood.

A website spokesman said, when quizzed by The Register, conveyed the impression that the social network believed that deliberately making its users unhappy was worth it as it made content "more relevant and engaging":

This research was conducted for a single week in 2012 and none of the data used was associated with a specific person’s Facebook account. We do research to improve our services and to make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible.

A big part of this is understanding how people respond to different types of content, whether it’s positive or negative in tone, news from friends, or information from pages they follow. We carefully consider what research we do and have a strong internal review process.

There is no unnecessary collection of people’s data in connection with these research initiatives and all data is stored securely.

Facebook's spokesman then pointed us towards Kramer's "apologetic response" and was keen to note that the study had been "conducted more than 2.5 years ago".

The Mark Zuckerberg-run company appeared to be suggesting that its experiments with Facebook users were less ethically ropey than they had been in the past.

Nonetheless, sorry seems to be the hardest word for an emotionless Facebook. Funny that. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.