Facebook kicked off the summer of 2014 with a controversy that affected nearly 700,000 users. For one week in early 2012, the social network conducted an experiment to determine whether it could change the emotional state of some users by filtering the posts that showed up in their news feeds. (Spoiler alert: It could.) Many experts called Facebook’s actions unethical.
Three months later, Facebook finally apologized in a blog post that addressed the incident and outlined plans for more structured research.
“It’s clear now that there are things we should have done differently,” wrote Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer. “For example, we should have considered other non-experimental ways to do this research. The research would have also benefited from more extensive review by a wider and more senior group of people. Last, in releasing the study, we failed to communicate clearly why and how we did it.”
But in between the uproar over Facebook’s emotion experiment and its belated apology was a summer filled with launches, algorithm tweaks, and privacy changes.
Slideshows – InformationWeek.