Magazine article Information Management

U.S. and European Lawmakers Scrutinize Facebook

Magazine article Information Management

U.S. and European Lawmakers Scrutinize Facebook

Article excerpt

Facebook continues to draw fire from its users, privacy groups, and some lawmakers in both the United States and Europe. The uproar this time is over the recent disclosure of a blind research study the social network site conducted one week in January 2012, unbeknownst to its subscribers. Essentially, Facebook manipulated the content of news feeds being sent to 700,000 users to see if negative emotions were contagious. The researchers' published the study's findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) and stated that "the actual impact on people in the experiment was the minimal amount to statistically detect it." The reaction to the survey after the fact was anything but minimal.

Several European data protection agencieshave expressed their concern that the survey constituted a breach of users' privacy. Similarly, at least one U. …

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