We communicated poorly on emotions study – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

We communicated poorly on emotions study – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

We communicated poorly on emotions study – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

Written by Bella Dalima

02 Jul, 2014 | 3:34 pm

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg today admitted that the social networking giant had communicated poorly on a controversial psychological experiment, but denied any attempt to control the emotions of users.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Ms Sandberg, who is visiting India, emphasised that Facebook takes the privacy of users very seriously.

“We communicated very badly on the emotions study… We hope users understand that we care about their privacy…We want to be transparent and give users control,” she said.

The experiment she said “was small, over one week” conducted in a way that protected privacy.

There has been global anger over the study that Facebook conducted in 2012 on the emotions of users without their knowledge. Privacy activists and regulators in some countries have alleged that Facebook manipulated feeds to try and control users’ emotions.

A UK regulator is now reportedly investigating whether Facebook broke data protection laws when it allowed its researchers to conduct the experiment on its users. Reuters reports that the experiment was conducted on nearly 700,000 unwitting users in 2012 and was intended to find if Facebook could alter the emotional state of its users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content.

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