The Cyber-Cave

Reflections on the political, technological, cultural and economic trends of the world


-In 2014 it was revealed that Facebook had conducted an experiment (in 2012) in collaboration with American universities on 689,000 users. The purpose of the experiment was to study the effect of ’emotional contagion’. The news feed would be altered with positive or negative content, to see that would be the emotional response of the user (to checker whether, as a result of the filtered news feed, he would publish positive or negative stories). The study concluded that the ’emotional contagion’ effect is significant.

-According to the Australian, a 2017 leaked document appears to show that Facebook can detect teenagers (through monitoring the content of their engagement) that feel under the categories of “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “stressed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless”, and a “failure”. This categorisation is obtained with a system called ‘sentiment analysis’. According to the Australian, the leaked document also shows that Facebook believes that information can be valuable to advertisers (for instance for weight loss). “Monday-Thursday is about building confidence; the weekend is for broadcasting achievements”- the leaked document appears to show.

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