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If you missed out on the buzz surrounding Facebook’s creepy mood experiment, a Chrome plugin called Facebook ...
If you missed out on the buzz surrounding Facebook’s creepy mood experiment, a Chrome plugin called Facebook Mood Manipulator lets you recreate the experience for yourself.
Creator Lauren McCarthy says the plugin utilizes the same Linguistic Inquiry Word Count that Facebook employed. Cornell University helped Facebook conduct the study. With the plugin, you too can filter your friends’ posts according to your mood-- Positive, Emotional, Aggressive, or Open.
In case you missed the story: a team of Facebook researchers changed the News Feed algorithm so that 700,000-odd users saw a slanted Home Feed of either positive or negative content. No posts were removed or inserted; the algorithm simply organized the posts so that they would appear in the feed in a specific order, creating the desired emotional effect.
Facebook found that users were influenced by the posts they saw, afterwards posting positive or negative content respectively. The study came under fire when critics questioned its ethics and whether informed consent was present.
Facebook half-heartedly apologized, admitting that the study was “poorly communicated.” Whatever the reason, we hope the backlash is a warning sign for the social network to stop manipulating and exploiting its users. Knowing Facebook, though, we’re not going to hold our breath.