Tags: facebook | research | rules | revised

Facebook Research Rules Revised After Emotions Study

By    |   Friday, 03 Oct 2014 10:09 AM

Facebook has updated its research rules in response to a public outcry this summer that arose over a previous experiment some said unethically manipulated people's emotions.

In a company blog post, Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer stopped short of an apology, but explained that it was tightening its research guidelines, review, and training processes. He also said the company would be more transparent about its research by publishing updates to a new page

"Over the past three months, we’ve taken a close look at the way we do research. Today we’re introducing a new framework that covers both internal work and research that might be published," he wrote.

Commenting on the controversial experiment Facebook previously conducted on 700,000 unwitting users, Schroepfer said, "we were unprepared for the reaction the paper received when it was published and have taken to heart the comments and criticism. It is clear now that there are things we should have done differently."

Upon announcing the updated guidelines and its new research site, some privacy advocates said the updates didn't go far enough.

"This is a positive development on oversight, but Facebook still hasn't given an inch on informed consent," James Grimmelmann, a University of Maryland law professor, told The Washington Post.

"As long as this panel says OK, Facebook will still feel free to manipulate its users in the name of science. I hope that other companies emulate Facebook's commitment to better training and consistent policies, but there's still a long way to go."

Others pointed out that many privacy-conscious Facebook users were flocking to a new social network in September and October, Ello, which brands itself as ad-free, and therefore uninterested in users' data.



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Facebook has updated its research rules in response to a public outcry this summer that arose over a previous experiment some said unethically manipulated people's emotions.
facebook, research, rules, revised
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2014-09-03
Friday, 03 Oct 2014 10:09 AM
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