Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Facebook's Social Experiments

"You Consented to Facebook’s Social Experiment - ABC News: Here’s the line in the policy that Facebook says allowed it to manipulate the feeds without telling users before, during or after the study took place for a week in January of 2012:

“[I]n addition to helping people see and find things that you do and share, we may use the information we receive about you…for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.”

This is where the “ethical conundrum” begins, said bioethicist and lawyer Leslie Meltzer Henry, who works at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law."
Indeed. We scroll impatiently on TOS and such and then click. And know in the back of our minds that we are being watched and monitored and tweaked with. No surprise here but still, it does bring a chill.

And, in recent days I've noticed a plethora of FB posts that ask: (paraphrasing) "How smart are you? Bet you can't name a city that doesn't have an A in it," or, "If you think you're so smart, think of a word that begins with A and ends in E" and, "You probably can't think of any names what begin with Z (or have Z in them, some such…) "

Of course one can't help but wonder if this isn't some more FB backed social investigation into the minds of the hoi polloi. How many people will mindlessly click on Like, Share, and most of all, argue (as many have done) that of course there are names that have Z and there are city names with A in them.

What does this mean? Just more evidence of in your face data collecting, spying, the arrogance of corporations taking great advantage of our need to enjoy ourselves at their expense, and so on. The usual.

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