Facebook stirs controversy after admitting to conducting study on emotional impact

Facebook stirred controversy Monday after admitting to conducting a study without letting users know. The social media site looked at the network's emotional impact with

Facebook says it manipulated the feeds of nearly

Facebook says it manipulated the feeds of nearly 700,000 users. (Credit: News 12)

WOODBURY - Facebook stirred controversy Monday after admitting to conducting a study without letting users know.

The social media site looked at the network's emotional impact with a weeklong study that happened more than two years ago.

Facebook says it manipulated the feeds of nearly 700,000 users. Researchers used key words to see whether or not positive or negative comments appeared on users' feeds. Researchers say users gave permission when they agreed to the site's data policy when opening a Facebook account.

Privacy and Technology Attorney Jonathan Ezor says the problem is that people didn't realize the study was happening. "In psychology studies, there are usually issues of ethics and consent. And on the Internet, there are issues of consent. Facebook seemed to not be concerned about either side," he said.

One of the study's co-authors apologized on his page. He said he thought the study would show that people may avoid Facebook if comments were consistently negative.

Either way, social media experts say the point of most social networking sites is exactly this -- to learn details about you and sell it.

Facebook isn't saying it sold any of this information, but privacy experts say it is an important reminder that any time you sign up for something online, you have to consider what information you may be sharing and what freedom you may be giving up in the process.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Police say the victim sustained multiple lacerations and 1 Police release sketch of man found dead in Massapequa Preserve
The van was a welcome addition to the 2 Nassau firefighters group donates van for disabled vets
Two Long Island residents with differing views on 3 LI residents offer different takes on GOP health bill failure
Police are searching for the driver involved in 4 Brentwood man killed in hit-and-run crash
When the new Nassau Coliseum opens its doors 5 New Coliseum to pay tribute to military, 9/11 victims

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE