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Facebook admits 'communications' error with emotions study

Published on Jul 2, 2014 8:02 PM
 
Facebook "communicated really badly" about a controversial study in which it secretly manipulated users' feelings, the social network's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg (pictured) admitted on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Facebook "communicated really badly" about a controversial study in which it secretly manipulated users' feelings, the social network's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg admitted Wednesday.

The company clandestinely altered the emotional content of feeds of nearly 700,000 users for a week in 2012, giving some sadder news and others happier news in a study aimed at better understanding "emotional contagion".

The research, published last month, has prompted online anger and questions about the ethics of the research and forced Facebook on the defensive.

It was an experiment as part of product testing, Ms Sandberg told a women's business seminar in New Delhi when asked whether the study was ethical.

 
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