Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment [Plus Breaking News!]

Facebook's Psychological Experiments Connected to Department of Defense Research

Once again, I have another good reason to leave Facebook.   Back in 2012 (or thereabouts) I left because of the blatant discrimination and blocking of Christian and Conservative themed pages.   But don’t take my word for it. See a page that has documented many examples of the political and religious censorship and harassment by Facebook

A few days ago, the news came out (at least it did on Fox News Channel) that these nefarious individuals took it upon themselves to do a secret mood manipulation experiment on over 600,000 users (without their permission or knowledge) makes me feel that the honesty and integrity of these people is highly questionable.  As the article states at the top – “It was probably legal. But was it ethical?”

We interrupt this (about to be published) post for BREAKING NEWS!  Just found this link at another site:

SCG News: Facebook’s Psychological Experiments Connected to Department of Defense Research on Civil Unrest!

Excerpt:

It turns out that one of the researchers who ran Facebook’s recent psychological experiments received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the contagion of ideas.

There has been quite a bit of chatter this past week after it was revealed that a recent Facebook outage was the result of a psychological experiment that the company conducted on a portion of its users without their permission. The experiment, which was described in a paper published by Facebook, and UCSF, tested the contagion of emotions on social media by manipulating the content of personal feeds and measuring how this impacted user behavior.

Over 600,000 users were used as guinea pigs without their consent, which raises a number of serious ethical and legal questions (particularly due to the fact that this study received federal funding), however there is an even more disturbing angle to this story. It turns out that this research was connected to a Department of Defense project called the Minerva Initiative, which funds universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world.

In the official credits for the study conducted by Facebook you’ll find Jeffrey T. Hancock from Cornell University. If you go to the Minerva initiative website you’ll find that Jeffery Hancock received funding from the Department of Defense for a study called “Cornell: Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes”. If you go to the project site for that study you’ll find a visualization program that models the spread of beliefs and disease.

Cornell University is currently being funded for another DoD study right now called “Cornell: Tracking Critical-Mass Outbreaks in Social Contagions” (you’ll find the description for this project on the Minerva Initiative’s funding page).

The Department of Defense’s investment in the mechanics of psychological contagion and Facebook’s assistance, have some very serious implications, particularly when placed in context with other scandals which have broken in the past two years.

First of all we know that Facebook willingly participated (and presumably is still participating) in the NSA’s PRISM program by giving the agency unfettered access to user communications. We also know that the U.S. government has invested heavily in technology used to track and model the spread of opinions on social media.

 

Continue reading HERE

 

WELL…THERE YOU HAVE IT!  SHOULD HAVE SUSPECTED ALL ALONG THAT THE ZERO BADministration WAS INVOLVED WITH THIS!

The entire time that I was working on this post, I thought in the back of my mind that there must be something more to the “Facebook Secret Manipulation Experiment.” Well, I found it! We now return to the original post content.

*******

I agree with one commenter at the (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/everything-we-know-about-facebooks-secret-mood-manipulation-experiment/373648/)  link who wrote:

Principled_Idealist

I guess Big Brother is done with just watching.

Now it involves manipulation of emotions. When you give permission to FB via the “agreement” when you signed up, did you know that you, your family, your friends, and your postings would not only be “owned” content, but would be used to manipulate? It’s one thing to try and manipulate purchases via ads, but to change the news feed (either positive stories or negative ones) of over 600,000 members in order to manipulate their emotions is unethical – to say the least!

Excerpt:

Updated, Monday, 10:40 p.m. Eastern.

Facebook’s News Feed—the main list of status updates, messages, and photos you see when you open Facebook on your computer or phone—is not a perfect mirror of the world.

But few users expect that Facebook would change their News Feed in order to manipulate their emotional state.

We now know that’s exactly what happened two years ago. For one week in January 2012, data scientists skewed what almost 700,000 Facebook users saw when they logged into its service. Some people were shown content with a preponderance of happy and positive words; some were shown content analyzed as sadder than average. And when the week was over, these manipulated users were more likely to post either especially positive or negative words themselves.

This tinkering was just revealed as part of a new study, published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Many previous studies have used Facebook data to examine “emotional contagion,” as this one did. This study is different because, while other studies have observed Facebook user data, this one set out to manipulate it.

The experiment is almost certainly legal. In the company’s current terms of service, Facebook users relinquish the use of their data for “data analysis, testing, [and] research.” Is it ethical, though? Since news of the study first emerged, I’ve seen and heard both privacy advocates and casual users express surprise at the audacity of the experiment.

Further down in the article:

Did an institutional review board (IRB)—an independent ethics committee that vets research that involves humans—approve the experiment?

Yes, according to Susan Fiske, the Princeton University psychology professor who edited the study for publication. It seems an IRB was only consulted about the methods of data analysis, though, and not those of data collection.

According to a Cornell University press statement on Monday, the experiment was conducted before an IRB was consulted. Cornell professor Jeffrey Hancock—an author of the study—began working on the results after Facebook had conducted the experiment. Hancock only had access to results, says the release, so “Cornell University’s Institutional Review Board concluded that he was not directly engaged in human research and that no review by the Cornell Human Research Protection Program was required.”

In other words, the experiment had already been run, so its human subjects were beyond protecting. Assuming the researchers did not see users’ confidential data, the results of the experiment could be examined without further endangering any subjects.

Both Cornell and Facebook have been reluctant to provide details about the process beyond their respective prepared statements. One of the study’s authors told The Atlantic on Monday that he’s been advised by the university not to speak to reporters.

By the time the study reached Susan Fiske, the Princeton University psychology professor who edited the study for publication, Cornell’s IRB members had already determined it outside of their purview.

Fiske had earlier conveyed to The Atlantic that the experiment was IRB-approved.

“I was concerned,” Fiske told The Atlantic on Saturday, “until I queried the authors and they said their local institutional review board had approved it—and apparently on the grounds that Facebook apparently manipulates people’s News Feeds all the time.”

 

There you have it folks!  FB does this kind of manipulation all the time!

 

On Saturday, Fiske said that she didn’t want the “the originality of the research” to be lost, but called the experiment “an open ethical question.”

“It’s ethically okay from the regulations perspective, but ethics are kind of social decisions. There’s not an absolute answer. And so the level of outrage that appears to be happening suggests that maybe it shouldn’t have been done…I’m still thinking about it and I’m a little creeped out, too.” [bold and italics mine]

For more, check Atlantic editor Adrienne LaFrance’s full interview with Prof. Fiske.

 

What’s more:

 

As mentioned above, the research seems to have been carried out under Facebook’s extensive terms of service. The company’s current data use policy, which governs exactly how it may use users’ data, runs to more than 9,000 words and uses the word “research” twice. But as Forbes writer Kashmir Hill reported Monday night, the data use policy in effect when the experiment was conducted never mentioned “research” at all—the word wasn’t inserted until May 2012.  [bold mine]

I plan to link this post on my current FB page and will keep it up for a few days. It might end up being censored – we shall see. However, after a few days I will need to leave FB.

I do not know if any users will take these issues as seriously as I have, but it’s just plain ethical for me to warn my family, friends, and acquaintances about the facts regarding not only the political and religious censorship and harassment on that site, but also the secret mood manipulation experiment. It’s truly disgusting that FB would allow a defamation page that says something as awful as this:

June 2014: The Facebook page “Virgin Mary should´ve aborted“ covers images of the unborn Jesus as an abortion victim wearing a crown of thorns and blood flowing from his side while the Virgin Mary smokes a marijuana cigar. The content of this page is mostly anti-Christian, as well as pro-abortion. The statements on this page are spreading defamation and hatred against Christians and Christianity.

Such nefarious deeds echo the warnings of:

Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”

George Orwell’s “1984

Most prophetic of all, is what is written in the Bible.

Jesus’ own words and warnings about an evil generation looking for “a sign” and much more is written in Matthew 12

The book of Jude prophetically describes how it will be the closer we approach the end times.

Despite all of this, we know that when we belong to Jesus, we can be joyful and glad – even in the midst of all the chaos of sin, evil, and death being inflicted in this fallen world:

Jde 1:20

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Jde 1:21

keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Jde 1:22

And on some have compassion, making a distinction; [fn]

Jde 1:23

but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, [fn] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Jde 1:24

Now to Him who is able to keep you [fn] from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

 

Jde 1:25

To God our Savior, [fn]
Who alone is wise, [fn]
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power, [fn]
Both now and forever.
Amen.

~ Christine

 

Hat tips to all links.

 

Update:  Posted this link on FB.  We shall see what happens.

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7 Responses to “Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment [Plus Breaking News!]”

  1. gmpilot Says:

    ”Once again, I have another good reason to leave Face Book. Back in 2012 (or thereabouts) I left because of the blatant discrimination and blocking of Christian and Conservative themed pages. (…) I plan to link this post on my current FB page and will keep it up for a few days. It might end up being censored – we shall see. However, after a few days I will need to leave FB.”

    In other words, you didn’t actually leave Facebook two years ago, you just stopped using it.

    ”Now it involves manipulation of emotions. When you give permission to FB via the “agreement” when you signed up, did you know that you, your family, your friends, and your postings would not only be “owned” content, but would be used to manipulate? It’s one thing to try and manipulate purchases via ads, but to change the news feed (either positive stories or negative ones) of 700,000 members in order to manipulate their emotions is unethical – to say the least!”

    I see…so now, you’re going to allow FaceBook to manipulate your outrage, too! Whatever happened to that talk about the “elect” not being deceived? Or perhaps you, personally, aren’t part of that elect?

    ”Such nefarious deeds echo the warnings of:
    Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”
    George Orwell’s “1984”
    (title fixed-GM)
    Most prophetic of all, is what is written in the Bible.
    Jesus’ own words and warnings about an evil generation looking for “a sign” and much more is written in Matthew 12
    The book of Jude prophetically describes how it will be the closer we approach the end times.”

    Yet you immediately quote verses that essentially say “Hang on! Persevere! It’ll be all right in the end (for those who believe).” You still claim that all this is necessary for the Big Day to occur. That just doesn’t jibe with your Chicken Little act. If you know the result, why worry about the process?

    I’m not on Facebook but I have friends who are, and I will tell them. I don’t want them manipulated by the labs OR the churches, so I will share your alarm.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. christinewjc Says:

    I deactivated my account back in 2012 and had not used it for two years. The main reason why I reactivated it was to view all the photos from our daughter’s wedding in April. Since then, I have been waiting to see if I could remain on there (in good conscience) in order to keep in touch with friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Now, I have an even better reason to leave.

    It will be interesting to see if anyone heeds (or even reads!) my link to this post. There is a lot of apathy on the part of people today who have “turned off” their “ears to hear” regarding the warning bells of government tyranny and the social networks that work right along side them. Many probably won’t really care. At least I did my part in warning them.

    You wrote:

    Yet you immediately quote verses that essentially say “Hang on! Persevere! It’ll be all right in the end (for those who believe).” You still claim that all this is necessary for the Big Day to occur. That just doesn’t jibe with your Chicken Little act. If you know the result, why worry about the process?

    Here’s your answer:

    1Pe 3:15

    But sanctify the Lord God [fn] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

    1Pe 3:16

    having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

    1Pe 3:17

    For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

    See also Ephesians 1

    I like to complete my posts of warning with what the Bible shares regarding staying steadfast in faith in Jesus Christ – no matter what is going on in this fallen world. The book of Jude does just that! So I included it as a source of encouragement.

    Wow. We agree on something for once. I’m glad that this post turned out to be of service to you, and that you have chosen to warn your friends on FB.

    Like

  3. christinewjc Says:

    Found some interesting comments about this topic on another blog and did a bit of research on the person who wrote the comments. Apparently, he has a book out called The Myth of American Democracy: The Deification of Democratic Governance and the Subversion of Individual Liberty

    Haven’t read the book yet, but these excerpts describe what many Americans fear has become a reality.

    This could end up as a new blog post here – tomorrow. For now, here are the comments:

    TFervor • 20 hours ago

    US Declaration of Independence, 1776:
    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpation’s, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security… ”

    TFervor • 21 hours ago

    The future of American democracy is not about liberty, constitutionalism, individual rights, privacy, voluntary association, pluralistic living options, or limited government—it’s about universalizing the reign of elite-sanctioned reason. Government will become ever-more totalitarian, and this totalitarianism will be increasingly premised on the assertion of a “self-evident” “legitimacy of rationality.” An elite-vision conforming rationality. Whatever strategically promotes the elites’ vision qualifies as a rational action. If an action has been ordained to be “right” by the political establishment illuminati, it is therefore legitimate and necessary—regardless of popular sentiment or constitutional obstacles.

    There will never be a “final straw” regarding the loss of liberty. The government is never going to push you over “the line”; the whole process is one of moving you and your line—like boiling a frog. Either you need to make a principled stand at some relatively indistinct point, or you need to recognize that you are willing to accept your gradual enslavement.

    TFervor • 21 hours ago

    Indications of increasing tyranny:
    ——————————————-
    –Erosion of individual rights
    –Restrictions on individuals’ abilities to defend themselves
    –Control or distortion of public information
    –Increasing control of media and public discourse
    –Increasing centralization of governmental power
    –Expansion or usurpation of un-delegated powers
    –Strong, government-accessible, identification requirements
    –Increasing requirements for licenses, permits, registrations
    –Increasing dependency on government
    –Control of money and banking
    –Circumvention of law or de facto creation of new laws
    –Secret laws and unaccountable decision-making
    –Restrictions on internal or external freedom of movement
    –Restrictions on free association and free assembly
    –Staged or fraudulent elections
    –Rules which protect establishment politicians from challengers
    –Surveillance, infiltration, or subversion of groups critical of government
    –False prosecutions, manipulated trials and juries, or unlawful imprisonments
    –National resources diverted to benefit the regime or its supporters
    –Propaganda or staged events to manufacture support or damage opponents
    –The clandestine monitoring of private communications
    –The accumulation of data which can be used to control or destroy opponents
    –The use of fear and conflict to elicit acquiescence and obedience

    TFervor • 21 hours ago

    Democratic Farce
    ————————

    Democracy has become a farce and a deception. It’s now a sham perpetuated in order to distract, beguile, and exploit the masses by keeping them enthralled and handicapped with a seductive illusion. For the establishment elites, democracy has a utility tantamount to jingling a set of keys in front of a whining infant public. They’ve commandeered the system and its meaning, and adorned it with whatever new ideological constructs or confusing illusions that best facilitate their power.

    Democracy has been gutted of its original purposes and ideals, and it now serves as a vacuous ritual employed to distract, divert, and occupy the attention and energies of the public. It’s a tool of the State and its occupants, rather than a barrier to their domination.

    “The Myth of American Democracy: The Deification of Democratic Governance and the Subversion of Individual Liberty” by Trenton Fervor on Amazon.

    TFervor • 21 hours ago

    American democracy is essentially dead. “The people” are powerless and completely manipulated given government power, technology, and control over information and thought. “Democracy” has come to be rule by a totalitarian cabal of illuminati—exercised from behind the pomp and circumstance of an illusory procedural farce serving to enfeeble, bewilder, distract, misdirect, pacify, and delusion the masses into acquiescence.

    The US political system is far beyond the point where its terms can be considered reasonable. They are perverse and vile. The system assumes itself justified in forever escalating its impositions and dictates, and yet entitled to deference and obedience. The system requires its conscripts to object using only those methods inadequate to repel its aggressions and arrogance. The system is at a breaking point where its terms are recognized as being the mad devices of a tyrant class.

    “The Myth of American Democracy: The Deification of Democratic Governance and the Subversion of Individual Liberty” by Trenton Fervor on Amazon.

    TFervor • 21 hours ago

    The events of recent really drive home the fact that the State is beyond containment. A great portion of the public is already financially, emotionally, or psychologically indentured to it, and unprepared to recognize its immense accumulated faculty for domination and tyranny. Those who do have concern with it, either lack the capacity to effectively criticize or contend against it, or they are reluctant to put themselves and their ‘stable’ lives at risk of the potential dishevel necessary to respond.

    The State now possesses everything it needs to identify, track, dominate, and destroy its detractors. It will grow ever-more uncontestable, domineering, and suffocating. It has achieved supremacy in the control of information, and the channels by which information is disseminated. It has attained a mastery of the techniques of manipulation and the art of dissembling and deception. It controls its own narrative and enjoys the authority to prosecute and destroy anyone who resists it. It’s a new class of tyranny and empire—one which has more staying power than in the past; one which is more able to survive the catastrophes it creates by universalizing itself and destroying all alternatives to itself. The modern State’s power to protract its ultimate demise and to intensify and distribute the associated oppression and misery is far greater today. The thought that it is destined to collapse on its own accord as routinely as past empires have is—I fear—too charitable.

    “The Myth of American Democracy: The Deification of Democratic Governance and the Subversion of Individual Liberty” by Trenton Fervor on Amazon.

    TFervor • 21 hours ago

    Too Late, Too Powerful already:
    ——————————————-
    Power of this nature over communication, information, and “reality” represents a mortal threat to the notion of democratic sovereignty.

    A country can not at the same time have a comprehensive, all-powerful government–and a government which has the ability to effortlessly and clandestinely destroy its detractors–and expect to avoid tyranny.

    The public is seduced by the claim that things are kept in check by democratic oversight, but the dynamics of modern power can not be tamed or restrained by democratic mechanisms. The delusion of democratic sovereignty has incubated a monster which it can not contain. Leviathan is here.

    “The Myth of American Democracy: The Deification of Democratic Governance and the Subversion of Individual Liberty” by Trenton Fervor on Amazon.

    Like

  4. Carmen Damocles Says:

    While I know this is appalling stuff, it certainly shouldn’t surprise us. It could have been worse. The US government did a lot of unethical experiments in the old days . Not included in the video is the Tuskegee experiment. I do believe companies do a lot of experiments on consumers without them knowing. If we want to question companies about it, though, I would encourage it. But remember, when you click “Accept terms and conditions,” you know there’s a limit to the questioning.

    Like

  5. christinewjc Says:

    Hello Carmen,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I watched the video and was appalled. Some of the examples did not have any research sites listed in order to document the truth of what was alleged.

    I think that the #1 horror, though, is the 1973 American legalization of killing babies in the womb. It was decided on a lie – because “Roe” became a born again Christian and stated that she was not actually raped; therefore, the pregnancy was under consent with the male who impregnated her.

    We are not being told the truth about abortion.

    See Survivors LA, a website dedicated to getting the truth out.

    Excerpt:

    Survivors is a Christian pro-life activist ministry dedicated to educating and activating the youth of America. Survivors is led by a team of passionate individuals and governed by a Board of Directors.

    Any person born after January 22, 1973 is a survivor of the American abortion holocaust. On this date, the Roe vs. Wade decision legalized abortion on demand throughout all 50 states. Since this infamous decision, over 56 million children have been killed all in the name of “choice”. If you were born after the legalization of abortion in the U.S., we challenge you to consider yourself a survivor of the abortion holocaust. One third of your generation has been killed by abortion.

    The Survivors are taking an active stand on behalf of those who have already been lost, and for those who are scheduled to die through abortion. We are empowered by the truth, enabled by extensive training, and unafraid of condemning the death of innocents.

    Our Mission

    Compelled by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and our respect for life, the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust speak out on behalf of over 56,000,000 children lost to abortion in America since 1973.

    Dedicated to defending the right to life of future generations, we are engaged in a battle to end America’s genocide. We recognize the urgency of this war, as over 3,500 children die each day in the United States because of abortion.

    As Survivors, we the young people of this generation are directly affected by the horror of this holocaust because it happened to us — we are its target. Abortion has claimed the lives of our classmates, our friends, our brothers and sisters. It is our obligation to tell their story and compel the world to recognize us as the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust

    What are we up to now here in America? Over 56 million slaughtered as another method of birth “control”? THAT is the most appalling of all of them – IMO.

    Like

  6. Samara Says:

    Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    fantastic blog!

    Like

  7. Yes People…We Are In Dangerous and Uncertain Times | Talk Wisdom Says:

    […] I have written before about why FB is a waste of time, and how they like to manipulate people who use the site. […]

    Like

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