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Facebook manipulated 689,003 users' News Feeds to 'prove' emotions are contagious

Ms. Smith | July 1, 2014
A Facebook experiment manipulated users' News Feeds to 'prove' emotions are contagious through social networks.

The people targeted, according to Facebook's appeal brief, included a cross-section of America "from high schoolers to grandparents, ... electricians, school teachers, and members of our armed services." 62 users were later charged in a disability fraud case, but a gag order prohibited Facebook from notifying 319 innocent users about the government scooping up their data too. Fast forward a year during which Facebook filed an appellate brief and the government finally unsealed the records. But the government didn't return or destroy the data for the 319 innocent users. Instead, as the EFF said, the "DA continues to hold a digital dossier of the lives of over 300 people never charged with a crime."

Facebook said it will continue the legal fight to retrieve that data.


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