Face it, we have sold our souls

WELL may Facebook ask ‘What’s on your mind?’ when it prompts its lab rats for an update status.

Well, let me see.

I was just thinking what evil bastards you are, Facebook.


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I have long suspected when we so carelessly click on ‘Accept’ without reading those terms and conditions forced upon us by just about anything internet related these days, that we were signing a deal with the devil.

No one has the time, patience or eyesight to read 80 pages of legalese so who knows what stuff they slip in.

Well, stop scoffing at my tin foil hat because some conspiracy theories are real and it’s not paranoia if someone is actually out to get you.

It has been revealed this week that Facebook deliberately manipulated the emotions of 700,000 of its ‘users’ without their consent as part of a rather creepy experiment.

Over a week in January 2012, Facebook scientists adjusted the news feeds of those test subjects so they were unknowingly reading either more positive posts then were actually there or more negative ones.

In a report recently released, the researchers said the emotion-altering experiment was to test a popular theory that seeing positive posts from friends made users feel worse about themselves, prompting them to respond negatively or withdraw all together.

It turned out its users were not the arseholes Facebook suspected and most people reacted positively to positive updates from their friends.

The study has been widely condemned as unethical because it did not obtain informed consent from its human subjects.

But it is arguable whether it was illegal because, as Facebook pointed out, there was a clause in their privacy policy which allowed data to be used for “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement”.

By having a profile on Facebook, we signed away our rights not to be treated as lab rats.

I hope none of those people who had their emotions swayed were suffering from depression or some other mental illness.

Because some days it doesn’t take much to send the sanest of us over the edge.

The Meddler

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Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a large audience and earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words. myGC reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please visit Share with myGC under the Views MENU for more details.

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