Facebook ran an experiment to see if it could affect user's emotions

Facebook modified the news feeds of hundreds of thousands of users in an experiment to see if it could change their mood.

@ShaneMcGlaun
Published Mon, Jun 30 2014 5:23 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:16 PM CST

Facebook is the biggest social network out there and as such, it has the ability to reach a huge amount of people each day around the world. Facebook has reportedly run an experiment that saw it mess with the newsfeeds of hundreds of thousands of users on its network in an attempt to see if it could alter the emotional state of the users.

Facebook ran an experiment to see if it could affect user's emotions | TweakTown.com

The experiment reportedly used 689,003 Facebook users without their knowledge. In the experiment, Facebook allegedly tweaked the newsfeed algorithms of the users in the experiment so that they saw an abnormally low number of positive or negative posts.

According to the team who ran the experiment, the people who saw more negative posts produced more negative posts themselves. The experiment also found that when the people saw more positive posts, made more positive posts themselves. Facebook says that this experiment was conducted for a single week in 2012 and none of the data use was associated with a specific person's Facebook account.

Shane is a long time technology writer who has been writing full time for over a decade. Shane will cover all sorts of news for TweakTown including tech and other topics. When not writing about all things geeky, he can be found at the track teaching noobs how to race cars.

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