Klick Health

Facebook runs A/B test, Internet goes apoplectic


Read More

This story on a 2012 Facebook study hit the news cycle last week because of a scholarly paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, titled “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks” detailed how researchers used 689,003 users on Facebook to test how different posts made them feel.

The problem is, people consider their emotional health part of their actual health (which seems reasonable -Ed.) and the researchers didn’t ask permission from the users in their study (presumably because 1. it’s hard, and 2. it would influence the test). The linked article on TechCrunch does a good job of showing the two sides in the dispute. We summarize them here.

Outrage and indignation:

Minimization and acceptance:

How this nets out for Facebook is still to be seen. What it does highlight is that the letter of the law in a privacy policy or data use policy is not sufficient when people feel their health is at risk. This is something that healthcare researchers already know well.

Other publications on this story:

Source: TechCrunch

More About the Author

Klick Wire

This is the Klick Wire blog account. Here you will find archived versions of all your favorite Klick Wire stories. To get these stories delivered to your inbox every week, use the sign up form at the bottom of this page.

More from this author

Go from news to action. Klick Wire

Weekly Digital Health Newsletter

Klick Health will NEVER spam you. Read our privacy policy

Thank you! You're now signed up to get the Klick Wire every week - news from the world of digital health marketing.

Sorry there seems to be a problem. Please try again later.