I am really done with Facebook, there is no doubt about it.
You probably don’t know this but in 2012 Facebook carried out an experiment on it’s users.
This is the sort of thing you agreed to in the Facebook T&C, which makes the practise entirely legal though morally dubious.
The experiment itself was simple, for about a week Facebook filtered the content that various randomly selected users (the figures I’ve seen were “just over 600,000”) were exposed to content with an emotional bias, with one group being exposed to posts containing words with a negative emotional implication and the other words with a positive association.
Results showed that after a week users began posting in line with the group they had been placed in.
Is this part of Facebook’s goal to engineer an emotional response in it’s users, by creating a sense of accomplishment and positive feelings a userbase is going to spend more time on the site.
Clever stuff, but amazingly underhanded.
Now, this pisses me off for two reasons, firstly Facebook could quite easily ask for volunteers to take part in an experiment of this sort, I can not believe that there would not be thousands of psychology students who would want to take part in such a thing.
Secondly, and more importantly to me I can’t stand the way Facebook thinks it has the right to decide what I see on my news.
Basically, what Facebook does with its newsfeed nowadays is pretty simple, a post no longer appears on your feed in the order it is posted, during a posts life it accumulates “weight” from clicks, licks, shares and such, the system is set up so you see lively debates and things that may be relevant at the cost of new or unpopular posts.
I can see the appeal of this, but we end up with a system in which a computer algorithm decides what you should see, so there might be some posts you aren’t even aware of unless you spend time each day on your friends profiles.
I know this is really an “out there” example, but imagine you’ve a friend suffering depression, who in a last ditch cry for help posts that they’ve just downed a bottle of booze and a handful of pills, by the time Facebook showed you this post it would be too late to do anything,
All this because Facebook decided it was a bad idea to display things in chronological order.
It wouldn’t even be hard, the right hand sidebar features trending topics and who exactly uses these? Would it be so hard to include a list of recently commented topics in this area? It would allow the main feed to focus on chronological progression which in turn would make it easier to track down posts you had seen previously as they would be in the same position.
Now I am not an active Facebook user, but now what little I did use it will be reduced to 0.
If it were not for the need of an account for a page for this blog and to contact friends and family, I would delete the damn thing entirely.
Frankly, I do not much care for the information a corporation wants me to see, when I want to see the content my friends are posting.