— 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.
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.
“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.