Back in 2014, Facebook decided to play with the minds of its users through a psychological experiment. The users never volunteered and the 689,000 users had no idea they were being used as lab rats.
As part of this experiment, Facebook flooded users with negative news and compared their reactions to those users they flooded with good news.
Facebook conducted a massive psychological experiment on 689,003 users, manipulating their news feeds to assess the effects on their emotions.
The details of the experiment were published in an article entitled “Experimental Evidence Of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks” published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
The short version is, Facebook has the ability to make you feel good or bad, just by tweaking what shows up in your news feed.
This wasn’t the first time, that Facebook conducted psychological experiments on its unknowing users. In a previous study of 700,000 users in 2012, Facebook studied the impact of removing emotional words from a person’s post to see if it affected the number of likes a post received. READ: Facebook apologises for psychological experiments on users
In another experiment also conducted unknowingly on its users in 2012, Facebook manipulated people’s news feeds to see if it would impact voter turnout in the 2012 US Federal election. READ: Facebook Conducted Another Secret Experiment On Users
These are just the ones we know about.