Sad status update? Facebook reveals it’s been manipulating our emotions by tinkering newsfeeds to see if it made us happy or sad

Facebook admits tinkering with newsfeeds to make you happy or sad
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is interested in your emotions (Picture: AP)

‘Facebook scientists’ have published a report revealing they manipulated content to see how it affected our emotions.

The exhaustively titled ‘Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks’ paper was published in a leading scientific journal.

The way it was conducted may make you feel a bit techno-violated.

Scientists tinkered newsfeeds to skew the number of positive and negative terms seen by randomly selected users, in order to monitor the effect it had on their emotions.

Facebook then analysed the users’ future posts to see if they had experienced ‘emotional contagion’ – meaning they’d be sadder for seeing more negative terms on their feed, and happier for seeing more positive.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it had this exact effect.

The study shows that emotional states can be transmitted across social networks, and it also shows Facebook can do whatever they want with your info.

Facebook don’t need to ask for your consent, either. They already got it when you ticked that little box by the T’s & C’s the first time you logged on.

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