Tag Archives: Facebook

#Facebook emotion study breached #ethical guidelines, researchers say


Lack of ‘informed consent’ means that Facebook experiment on nearly 700,000 news feeds broke rules on tests on human subjects, say scientists.

Facebook emotion study breached ethical guidelines, researchers sayThe results found that users’ emotions were reinforced by what they saw – what the researchers called ‘emotional contagion’. Photograph: PA

Researchers have roundly condemned Facebook’s experiment in which it manipulated nearly 700,000 users’ news feeds to see whether it would affect their emotions, saying it breaches ethical guidelines for “informed consent”.

James Grimmelmann, professor of law at the University of Maryland, points in an extensive blog post that “Facebook didn’t give users informed consent” to allow them to decide whether to take part in the study, under US human subjects research.

“The study harmed participants,” because it changed their mood, Grimmelmann comments, adding “This is bad, even for Facebook.”

But one of the researchers, Adam Kramer, posted a lengthy defence on Facebook, saying it was carried out “because we care about the emotional impact of Facebook and the people that use our product.” He said that he and his colleagues “felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out.”

The experiment hid certain elements from 689,003 peoples’ news feed – about 0.04% of users, or 1 in 2,500 – over the course of one week in 2012. The experiment hid “a small percentage” of emotional words from peoples’ news feeds, without their knowledge, to test what effect that had on the statuses or “Likes” that they then posted or reacted to.  Continue reading

#Facebook admits manipulating users’ emotions by modifying news feeds


Facebook admits manipulating users' emotions by modifying news feedsActivists and politicians called Facebook’s experiment ‘scandalous’, ‘spooky’ and ‘disturbing’. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

It already knows whether you are single or dating, the first school you went to and whether you like or loathe Justin Bieber. But now Facebook, the world’s biggest social networking site, is facing a storm of protest after it revealed it had discovered how to make users feel happier or sadder with a few computer keystrokes.

It has published details of a vast experiment in which it manipulated information posted on 689,000 users’ home pages and found it could make people feel more positive or negative through a process of “emotional contagion”.

In a study with academics from Cornell and the University of California, Facebook filtered users’ news feeds – the flow of comments, videos, pictures and web links posted by other people in their social network. One test reduced users’ exposure to their friends’ “positive emotional content”, resulting in fewer positive posts of their own. Another test reduced exposure to “negative emotional content” and the opposite happened.

The study concluded: “Emotions expressed by friends, via online social networks, influence our own moods, constituting, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence for massive-scale emotional contagion via social networks.”

Lawyers, internet activists and politicians said this weekend that the mass experiment in emotional manipulation was “scandalous”, “spooky” and “disturbing”.

On Sunday evening, a senior British MP called for a parliamentary investigation into how Facebook and other social networks manipulated emotional and psychological responses of users by editing information supplied to them.  Continue reading

Brighton Pride: Last chance to grab £17.50 advance tickets #FreedomToLive


Brighton Pride 2014

The temperature is rising, the excitement is building and the countdown is on.

Yes the city’s proudest day is almost upon us, Brighton Pride 2014 is almost here.

With a line-up that includes so many spectacular wonders including Sam Bailey, Blue, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and Martha Wash, the all new Q Alt Music Live Stage with Republica, Massive Ego, Q-Boy and Lucy Spraggon plus Brighton Pride favourites Calabash, The Legends Cabaret Tent, The Women’s Dance Tent, Men’s Zone, Community Village, Literature Live Tent and the super-sized Wild Fruit Dance Tent, Brighton Pride 2014 is set to deliver the UK’s most colourful and flamboyant Pride celebration yet.

With more acts to be confirmed and the fastest selling ticket sales Brighton Pride has ever seen, 2014 is certain surpass all fundraising records and deliver a glorious day of Pride for everyone.

Tickets for the Pride festival have been on sale since February and all early Birds and discounted advance have now sold out !

Make sure you are part of this best of Brighton days and grab the last of the Pride Festival £17.50 advance tickets today.

£17.50 Advance second release available until the end of June /£20 in July/ More on the day.

Get your Pride tickets here

Pride Brighton & Hove 2014: Freedom To Live

Pride Festival Preston Park 12noon – 10pm.

Follow Brighton Pride on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Brighton & Hove Pride

Changes to the site


Need New Ideas

Many of you will have noticed that I now have a static front page and my blog posts have been moved to here, the front page is a work in progress as I’m still deciding on how I want it to look :-) I have also had to make one or two changes to the settings to help further reduce the amount of spam I get in the comments section.

Users now must be registered and logged in to WordPress, Twitter or Facebook before they can leave a comment, I thought that this was the best way to prevent spammers, after all if you are registered with one of these accounts it would be easier to trace you and put a stop to your activities by contacting the relevant platform.

Your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome in the comment section below.

Facebook unavailable during longest outage in four years


Facebook's notice. Photograph: /FacebookFacebook’s notice. Photograph: /Facebook

Facebook was unavailable worldwide for more than 30 minutes on Thursday morning, the longest outage on the site for four years.

Both the website and the company’s smartphone and tablet apps were affected, as users decamped to other social networks to complain about the failure.

The site collapsed at 8:53am BST, showing visitors the following error message: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.” It stayed unavailable until 9:24am BST, when the site and apps began working as normal.

“Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100%. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused,” Facebook said in a statement. It is not known what caused the outage.

Publishers saw referral traffic from Facebook fall off a cliff as the outage hit. The collapse is clearly visible in the Guardian’s traffic from Facebook, for example:

Facebook referrals to the Guardian.Facebook referrals to the Guardian.

But users didn’t simply close their browsers and get off their computers. Instead, analytics indicate they turned to other social networks, and trawled for information on what had happened to Facebook. Again, that exodus is clearly visible in the Guardian’s referrals. This chart shows traffic from Twitter over the same period, although the scales are not the same:

Twitter referral traffic following Facebook's outage. Photograph: The GuardianTwitter referral traffic following Facebook’s outage. Photograph: The Guardian

Apparently, some users even went to Google+.

The last time the site was down for any length of time was in 2010, when an error in error checking software brought down the main database for two and a half hours. At the time, it was the worst outage for more than four years. That problem was caused by “an unfortunate handling of an error condition,” Facebook explained in a blogpost. “An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed.”

The Guardian