You may or may not have read much further than the “EVIL FACEBOOK DOING EVIL THINGS” headlines and then seen the articles — because there were many, at a time of great conflict and strife across the world this was deemed front page news — chronically misrepresent the study and come to the logical conclusion that the robots are soon to kill us all. Facebook sponsored robots mind, with little pictures of Mark Zuckerberg’s face and the last thing we’ll see as we shuffle off our mortal coils is that big blue thumbs up and a statement demanding we ‘share’ the best moments of our life.
I could list all the reasons that people shouldn’t be angry but the true information about the study is all out there, however it can be condensed down into manageable chunks, which I will do for you now. In fact, I should really have given this the title “3 things Facebook did that will make you question whether or not you should have got so outraged in the first place” but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Anyway in the spirit of Buzzfeed, I’ve even added in quirky and kooky gifs because everyone knows that text is boring and eventually all human emotion including every page of War and Peace will eventually be reduced to an emoji of a smiling pile of dog poo. So maybe just look at the gifs and then move on with your day.
1. Facebook removed emotional messages for some users. It did not, as many people seem to be assuming, add content specifically intended to induce specific emotions. It took 0.04% of Facebook Users’ News Feeds and removed statuses that were deemed to be positive or negative. So basically it was bringing things back to neutral. Not adding in loads of sad statuses to make people cry. Just showing them neutral ones. How Evil.
2. The News Feed does not exist, it is not a tangible thing. You cannot say ‘This is my News Feed’ in the same way you can say ‘This is my ingrowing toenail”. The whole concept of the News Feed is completely contrived and created by Facebook. Every time they change something on their website, they are supposedly ‘manipulating’ you. When they move the buttons around on the homepage, they’re manipulating you.
3. Lastly this is the 21st century. The actions that Facebook took happen up and down the country, across the globe, constantly. Whenever we interact with other people, we are trying to ‘manipulate’ them. Adverts try to manipulate us. To think of Facebook as this global service without any impartiality or bias is beyond ridiculous. It doesn’t work with the BBC and 60 million people, its not going to work with 7 billion.
By Jamie Timson
Pictures: The Internet