Sunday, July 13, 2014

Facebook's Mood Experiment Isn't Creepy, And The Uproar Is Absurd

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
The rest is up for debate.
There has been considerable consternation about the revelation that Facebook throttled user newsfeed posts in an attempt to elicit an emotional response.

The experiment, which curated posts to make users feel happy or depressed, apparently affected precisely 689,003 Facebook accounts - or about 0.0001% of users.

This uproar is absurd.

All mainstream media outlets curate the news to affect the beliefs of 100% of their audience.

Every day, news directors and editors go into work. And their job is to review the day's events, decide what's most important, or what their audience would most enjoy reading or hearing, and then publish or broadcast that information.

In other words, all media, everywhere, do exactly what Facebook did last week.

The only reason why it bothers us so much is that Facebook probably did a much better job of it than anyone else.

Except maybe Fox News, which manages to have both the most popular newscast while also keeping their audience totally untroubled by actual facts

In fact, people who watch no news at all are better informed than people who watch Fox News.

So while Facebook might curate your reality, at least they're not totally making it up like our friends over at Fox.

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