The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 1, 2014

Did Facebook study invade users privacy? Valley residents weigh in

— DANVILLE – With the recent revelation that Facebook used 700,000 of its users as unwitting guinea pigs in a psychological study, some Valley residents are reconsidering their relationship with the social network.

A recently published study in the scientific journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” revealed that in 2012 Facebook manipulated the news feeds of a small percentage of their users by either exposing them to more good news or more bad news. The experiment was meant to determine if positive or negative posts on a Facebook user’s feed would influence what the user posted on his or her own Facebook page.

Facebook claims that permission to use this kind of data manipulation without permission is covered under the terms of use people agree to when signing up for an account with the website.

At Danville restaurant Brew N Bytes, Danville residents Remy Perez, 17, and Phoebe Kishbaugh, 20, both think Facebook should have asked users before tampering with their news posts.

“We should know what is being filtered,” Kishbaugh said. Both said they visit the website on a daily basis. However, neither said they are less likely to abandon the service as it has basically “cornered the market” for social media.

“If you’re in a study, you should know you’re in a study,” added Barbara Schaffer, of Northumberland. She did not like how Facebook only mentioned using members in a study in the fine print of their terms of use.

“Nobody reads those contracts,” she said.

She plans to continue using Facebook, in part due to more controls given to users for what shows up in their feeds and what doesn’t in the last year or two.

She also said that she’s certain her personal data has been used in worse places than Facebook’s study.

“We don’t know where our personal data’s being used any more,” she said.

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  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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