Social Media And Its Effects On Social Networks

1400 Words Jun 10th, 2016 6 Pages
Facebook manipulates 690,000 users’ news feeds

In 2012 social media site Facebook manipulated 690,000 news feeds as a part of a week-long psychology experiment. The goal of the experiment was to find out if the information users received through their timelines or news feeds could affect a person mood and whether could be passed on without any physical interaction with other people. Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory and Jeffrey T. Hancock wrote an article entitled “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks” the results of the experiment stating that emotional state could be transferred to other through emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. (Kramer, Guillory, & Hancock, 2014)

The experiment tested whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between people by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. (Kramer, Guillory, & Hancock, 2014)

There are tons of ethical issues in this experiment starting with the fact that thousands of Facebook users were lied to for the sake to prove a hypothesis right or wrong. However, the first ethical issue that this experiment has is that it persuades people to think a certain way depending on what they are being shown.

Open Document