Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer issued the social network’s strongest response to date to the controversy over a 2012 study in which the News Feeds of 689,003 randomly selected Facebook users were manipulated in terms of positive or negative stories to gauge their emotional effects, promising in a Newsroom post that changes would be made to the way Facebook conducts research, including clearer guidelines, review teams, training, and a portal for all of the company’s research.
A study Facebook conducted in 2012, along with Cornell University and the University of California-San Francisco, in which the researchers randomly selected 689,003 Facebook users and tinkered with the number of positive or negative stories that appeared in their News Feeds, has drawn quite a lot of attention over the past couple of weeks, most of it negative, and now the government is getting involved.
Facebook executives continued to respond to the controversy over the recent study by social scientists from the social network, Cornell University, and the University of California-San Francisco, in which the researchers randomly selected 689,003 Facebook users and tinkered with the number of positive or negative stories that appeared in their News Feeds to gauge the results of those users’ moods. But the latest to chime in, Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert, was not as apologetic as Data Scientist Adam Kramer, one of the study’s co-authors, or Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
The tragic shootings in Las Vegas Sunday — which claimed the lives of two police officers, one civilian, and alleged shooters husband and wife Jerad Miller and Amanda Miller — also brought more pressure on Facebook from Daniel Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, who pointed out that a May 8 Facebook post (pictured above) in which Jerad Miller announced that he was seeking a rifle had not been removed (it has since disappeared).
Facebook and Instagram reacted swiftly to appeals last week by advocacy groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, announcing new educational and enforcement measures regarding discussions on the social networks about commercial activity, particularly when it involves regulated items, such as guns.
The Federal Trade Commission received 1,655 complaints about Facebook in 2012 — down from 2,171 in 2011, but up from 1,381 in 2010 — but what were people complaining about?