Facebook promises better vetting for its social experiments

6 years ago

Facebook came under a ton of fire this summerwhen it revealed that it'd manipulated some peoples' news feeds in an experiment to track mood changes. Well, The Social Network took note and has recently announcedit's changing how experiments will be performed and from here on out, Zuck and Co. will give researchers clearer guidelines to follow. Meaning, in part, that if a study drills down on a particular demographic or relates to something its users would consider "deeply personal" (i.e. feelings or moods), before the research begins it has to go through what Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfercalls an advanced review process. That review process will be handled by senior-level employees from the social behemoth's engineering, research, legal and privacy-and-policy teams.
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Every employee regardless of position will undergo a bit of learning on the research process during the outfit's six-week training seminar, too. But wait, there's more! Facebook has also setup a portalthat hosts its research projects for all to see. From here, at least, it looks like the company is keeping its promiseto not repeat the same mistake twice.

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