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Facebook researcher defends controversial psychology experiment on users

John Ribeiro | June 30, 2014
A Facebook researcher behind a controversial psychology experiment on users has defended it, stating that the research aimed to investigate a common concern that seeing friends post positive content on the social networking website leads people to feel negative or left out.

Kramer did not respond to criticism that the social networking company did not take permission of its users to do the experiment. However, in the paper, the authors had noted that the experiment procedure "was consistent with Facebook's Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research."

Facebook will include what it has learned from the reaction to the paper in its internal review practices for such experiments, which it continually works on improving, Kramer said. "The experiment in question was run in early 2012, and we have come a long way since then," he added.

 

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