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Author Topic: Facebook plays with your mind  (Read 5357 times)

wraith808

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Facebook plays with your mind
« on: June 27, 2014, 09:03:35 PM »
Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment

Yeah.  I'm done.  Especially since they didn't consider the ramifications of someone being in a negative emotional state and possibly... you know... doing negative things other than posting?

Don't really care how much family is on it now.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 10:29:00 PM »
That could easily have skirted very close to an End of User License Agreement.. Nobody really seems to be thinking about there being real people out there on the other end of the wire. They just want to screw with the lab rats.

Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2014, 08:16:25 AM »
Anyone want to take bets that their profits increase the closer they get to election time? (Anyone that thinks this won't happen is naive.)

Welcome to Hell.

I gave up on FB last year and refuse to use it anymore. This is just solid verification that I should never touch it again.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

MilesAhead

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2014, 08:40:46 AM »
Just from reading the clip in the link I have the suspicion that this is yet another example of "event A occurred before Event B, therefor A is the cause of B."  Do the implementers of the study have an way to know how the lab rats get all their news?  Like if lab rat "Killer Joe" also reads NYT hard copy or subscribes to KKK Weekly?

Since news is generally negative it might be more demonstrative if they fed the lab rats a diet of jolly good news and they all started posting through rose colored glasses.  :)

Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 09:03:17 AM »
^^ I think we're giving them the benefit of the doubt that they did some actual science and accounted for statistical variations and significance.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 09:31:45 AM »
Just from reading the clip in the link I have the suspicion that this is yet another example of "event A occurred before Event B, therefor A is the cause of B."  Do the implementers of the study have an way to know how the lab rats get all their news?  Like if lab rat "Killer Joe" also reads NYT hard copy or subscribes to KKK Weekly?

Since news is generally negative it might be more demonstrative if they fed the lab rats a diet of jolly good news and they all started posting through rose colored glasses.  :)

Well, the study is pretty stupid when you look at it.  "Do words affect your mental state?" is what the question can be boiled down to.  Well... duh?

Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 09:52:52 AM »
"Do words affect your mental state?" is what the question can be boiled down to.  Well... duh?

Hahaha! ;D Nicely put!  :Thmbsup:
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wraith808

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2014, 10:15:23 AM »
Facebook data scientist Adam Kramer is listed as the study’s lead author. In an interview the company released a few years ago, Kramer is quoted as saying he joined Facebook because "Facebook data constitutes the largest field study in the history of the world."

It’s a charming reminder that Facebook isn’t just the place you go to see pictures of your friends’ kids or your racist uncle’s latest rant against the government—it’s also an exciting research lab, with all of us as potential test subject.


Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2014, 10:22:04 AM »
your racist uncle’s latest rant against the government

Hey, my racist uncle is a pure statist that loves godvernment! :P ;D

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TaoPhoenix

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2014, 06:01:41 PM »
Anyone want to take bets that their profits increase the closer they get to election time? (Anyone that thinks this won't happen is naive.)

Welcome to Hell.

I gave up on FB last year and refuse to use it anymore. This is just solid verification that I should never touch it again.

I have dabbled for years at an ongoing project to take certain works of what used to be fiction, but then got closer in real news. It centered on a trilogy of novels with a few short stories along the way. Tom Clancy's Executive Orders from 1995 dealt with the destruction of govt (no jokes here) if the passengers hadn't downed that last plane in Pennsylvania. The Man from about 1965 dealt with the first Black President.

The last one is Stephen Bury's Interface from 1994 which deals with all of this metric-data for elections. Even 2016 might be a shade early, but it's well on track, so by 2020 I'm pretty sure his basic themes will be rock solid.


Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2014, 07:46:51 PM »
^^ Interesting. Seems someone forgot to tell the legislators that the dystopian novels weren't manuals. :)
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TaoPhoenix

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2014, 01:46:59 AM »
^^ Interesting. Seems someone forgot to tell the legislators that the dystopian novels weren't manuals. :)

Something like that. But scarily, this future is *better* than the combined sum of the first two novels! (Adverb here), the third novel is about dead center with the election metrics. A slight time shift, the tech isn't quite here for 2016, but the signs are there, and it's pretty cleanly on track for 2020. Remember my "Politician tracker app" discussion from a ways back, but turned on the citizens.

Though one of the short stories (that I misplaced dammit) is pretty close to the 3D printing theme.

Star Trek and space operas and "ultra tech" aside, a bunch of the "softer" SciFi is starting to really come home to roost and chirp.

As for Dystopias, I did a project in high school twenty years ago that there is no utopia at all, only varying grades of dystopias. So we traded unconnectedness and boredom and isolation for the Internet where I get to chat with Renny wherever-the-hell-you-are, but tied to Ed Snowden and spy monitoring. It's a sideways draw which is better.


Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2014, 03:03:55 AM »
As for Dystopias, I did a project in high school twenty years ago that there is no utopia at all, only varying grades of dystopias.

That sounds about accurate. Bad things will always happen. It's inevitable.

One common element I see in dystopian stories is the way everything is "homogeneous". That will never work because people are different. The opposite of that always seems to be the apocalyptic dystopia, but that's not a comment on society so much as it is just a fun thought experiment - Mad Max isn't around the corner. Perhaps running towards heterogeneity is a better idea. :)
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app103

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 03:18:35 AM »
A friend of mine pointed this out, and it would apply to Facebook's paper that was published on the PNAS site:

For experiments involving human participants, authors must also include a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all participants. All experiments must have been conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki.

Acceptance of Facebook's user agreement, at the time of signup, would not be considered "informed consent".

Informed consent is described in the Declaration of Helsinki as:

Quote
26.       In medical research involving human subjects capable of giving informed consent, each potential subject must be adequately informed of the aims, methods, sources of funding, any possible conflicts of interest, institutional affiliations of the researcher, the anticipated benefits and potential risks of the study and the discomfort it may entail, post-study provisions and any other relevant aspects of the study. The potential subject must be informed of the right to refuse to participate in the study or to withdraw consent to participate at any time without reprisal. Special attention should be given to the specific information needs of individual potential subjects as well as to the methods used to deliver the information.

           After ensuring that the potential subject has understood the information, the physician or another appropriately qualified individual must then seek the potential subject’s freely-given informed consent, preferably in writing. If the consent cannot be expressed in writing, the non-written consent must be formally documented and witnessed.      

           All medical research subjects should be given the option of being informed about the general outcome and results of the study.




Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 05:53:51 AM »
A friend of mine pointed this out, and it would apply to Facebook's paper that was published on the PNAS site:

For experiments involving human participants, authors must also include a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all participants. All experiments must have been conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki.

Acceptance of Facebook's user agreement, at the time of signup, would not be considered "informed consent".

Informed consent is described in the Declaration of Helsinki as:

Quote
26.       In medical research involving human subjects capable of giving informed consent, each potential subject must be adequately informed of the aims, methods, sources of funding, any possible conflicts of interest, institutional affiliations of the researcher, the anticipated benefits and potential risks of the study and the discomfort it may entail, post-study provisions and any other relevant aspects of the study. The potential subject must be informed of the right to refuse to participate in the study or to withdraw consent to participate at any time without reprisal. Special attention should be given to the specific information needs of individual potential subjects as well as to the methods used to deliver the information.

           After ensuring that the potential subject has understood the information, the physician or another appropriately qualified individual must then seek the potential subject’s freely-given informed consent, preferably in writing. If the consent cannot be expressed in writing, the non-written consent must be formally documented and witnessed.     

           All medical research subjects should be given the option of being informed about the general outcome and results of the study.


But, but, but... They *could* have been bots and, err, umm...

I think you're mistaken in thinking that Facebook gives a shit about medical ethics. ;)

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2014, 11:28:29 AM »
Acceptance of Facebook's user agreement, at the time of signup, would not be considered "informed consent".


Exactly what I pointed out elsewhere.  Thanks for the links, app!

Edvard

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2014, 01:05:14 AM »
Facebook's Sandberg gives us a classic non-apologyw:

http://www.huffingto...study_n_5551828.html

:nono2:

Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2014, 02:55:04 AM »
To be fair to Facebook, they're not doing anything less ethical than has been going on when you watch TV - subliminal messages, etc.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2014, 04:12:48 AM »
To be fair to Facebook, they're not doing anything less ethical than has been going on when you watch TV - subliminal messages, etc.

Or even newspapers and demagogues.

"If it bleeds, it leads".

Not sure whether it's Dopamine, but something in us gets ancy with too much pleasantness, so we want subversive little vicarious outlets to try to siphon off the pressure. But to echo what Renny said a while back, re: racing to heterogeneity, the uplifting word for that is the famous D-word Diversity.

The downside is that means clashes of disagreement and difference, and *that* lands us into endless fights unless we go through some ethereal dialectic of Homogeneity/Suppression -> Diversity but fighting -> Tolerance -> Acceptance.

It's easy to be both dismayed and cynical about many laws and rulings, but there have been occasional pinpoints of light where we can say "Wow, the court almost got that one right? One down, four hundred issues to go and then we might even be able to live in this society!"


40hz

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2014, 05:54:17 PM »
More like it rots it AFAIC.

xtabber

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2014, 05:30:23 PM »
The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a formal complaint today with the Federal Trade Commission over Facebook's "experiment."

MilesAhead

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2014, 06:27:41 PM »
More like it rots it AFAIC.

Hmm, perhaps they were the ones responsible for "rot13" ?   :)

Renegade

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Re: Facebook plays with your mind
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2014, 12:58:43 AM »
Anyone want to know that things are worse than you thought? ;)

http://www.zerohedge...l-media-manipulation

Let's look at paragraph #1 slowly...

Quote
Just days after a report published by researchers at Facebook revealed that users of the social media site had been manipulated for science,

Because science. Yeah. Ok.

Quote
The Guardian reports that DARPA - the Pentagon-run Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -

Y'know... the dudes that do all the seriously mad-hatter crazy scientist stuff that is both mind-blowing and utterly terrifying?

Quote
has in one way or another funded several studies recently that set out to explore that social networking site,

Several studies? About Facebook?

Quote
as well as users of Twitter,

AND TWITTER!?!

Quote
Pinterest,

AND PINTEREST!?!

Quote
Kickstarter

AND KICKSTARTER!?!

Quote
and others.

AND IT DOESN'T STOP THERE!?!

Quote
DARPA told the Guardian that the studies it has funded are essential to US defense interests.

Right. Because terrorist, safety, and think of the children. Gotcha. Ok.

The article author makes the same point we do here all the time...

Quote
On the Pentagon’s part, DARPA told the Guardian that the studies it has funded are essential to US defense interests... Orwell would be proud

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker