Asked a Forbes.com blogger: “Is it okay for Facebook to play mind games with us for science? It’s a cool finding, but manipulating unknowing users’ emotional states to get there puts Facebook’s big toe on that creepy line.”
Slate.com called the experiment “unethical” and said “Facebook intentionally made thousands upon thousands of people sad.”
Mr. Kramer defended the ethics of the project. He apologized for wording in the published study that he said might have made the experiment seem sinister. “And at the end of the day, the actual impact on people in the experiment was the minimal amount to statistically detect it,” he wrote on Facebook.
We are the product, not the customer
If you’re a Facebook user, some of your friends may have recently posted a status update titled “Privacy Notice.” It goes on to declare in legal-sounding language that since Facebook is now publicly traded it can make public use of your private content—and if you don’t repost the statement yourself, you are giving your implicit permission.
Sadly, you cannot protect your Facebook content with a reposted status update: It’s a hoax. But you can protect yourself by taking control of your privacy settings; see our step-by-step video on how to do just that.
Facebook commented on its own privacy page about the hoax:
We have noticed a recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed. This is not true and has never been the case. Facebook does not own your data and content.”