You might remember earlier this year when Facebook came under criticism for manipulating users’ feeds without their knowledge, all in the name of a public psychological experiment. Well the social network says its learned its lesson.
Facebook announced it’s changing its guidelines and practices when it comes to the way it lets researchers access the network’s data. The gist of the announcement is that from now on, researchers focusing on a particular demographic or on a particular aspect deemed “deeply personal”, like a person’s mood, love life or interactions with friends, they’ll have to go through additional hoops to get approval.
All such research projects will now go through an “advanced review process” handled by senior level employees from the research, legal and privacy departments. This does sound a bit comforting but many folks will agree that it’s still a far cry from actually asking users if they’d like to participate in such experiments or would rather just be left alone.