Secretive study on user's emotional contagion - Is it morally right for FB?

Secretive study on user's emotional contagion - Is it morally right for FB?


Facebook Inc is facing the criticisms of its users worldwide as it conducted a secretive study to know the social media impact on people. It was a study concerned with emotional contagion that was conducted secretly in 2012, and Facebook disclosed about the study recently. In the psychological experiment, the feeds were altered without informing the users so as to know the severity of emotional contagion. It was done on almost 700,000 users. The social media company is already facing the angst of its users and the industry participants. What do you think? Is Facebook right in conducting a secretive study on emotional contagion?

Yes

• It was a normal course of study that was conducted on some 689,003 users, and that have not done any harm to the users.

• If the users were informed about the secretive research, the results must have differed and there was no sense in making the research.

• All the social media sites including Google and Twitter follow the people preferences to provide them with the best choices.

• As per the legal regulations, the study was said to be in defined limits, and if it is legal, it is certainly right.

• When people sign up with the social media sites they are well aware with the policies and regulations of them.

No

• Facebook might have conducted the study in the legal way but it an unethical approach to conduct the experimental research.

• Facebook and other social media sites can follow the people to track their preferences but they are not allowed by the users to play with their emotions.

• Facebook has not followed the people to serve them with their choice of ads but have changed their feeds to see their emotional reactions. Users are just feeling like guinea pigs.

• The act has forced people to think that are they using the internet or internet is using them whenever they want.

• Facebook transformed the emotions of people into facts and figures. It is just promoting polarization through internet.

Conclusion

It is just not the problem with Facebook but in fact is the problem with all the other social media websites. Facebook is even conducting other secretive studies like promoting the fake news of sibling, activating webcam of users randomly, faking the kidnapping and others. It is not promoting any good but is hampering the emotions of the users. It is a high time the regulators should take some strict actions to put an end to such a level of mass manipulation.
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    Discussion

  • RE: Secretive study on user's emotional contagion - Is it morally right for FB? -Deepa Kaushik (07/09/14)
  • The social networking sites are for the community interaction and catching up with the friends and relations from any part of the world. Instead these networking sites have gone ahead with provision of various related applications download, games, feeds and much more. Playing up with the user emotion is an unacceptable matter even if the purpose is justified in lieu of research or any other study.

    The research and study should be conducted with the permission of those involved. Playing up with user emotions does not have any ground to be justified. Though the study is conducted under the legal cover, still the same is against the ethics.

    Facebook has lot many users and keen followers. The way the study has changed the feeds, many users have lost the trust factor with the Facebook. This is not only with the Facebook, but with all the social networking sites to conduct various types of research with the user interests and emotions. This greatly alters the trustworthiness with a punch hole on the privacy and security of the personal information.