I think this is almost a red herring. It’s within the terms of service we agreed to when we signed up. I’m not sure why this has caused more of on uproar than the consistent manipulation of the news feed. Automatically switching my view from recent posts to popular posts. Really? Based on what algorithm? Why was a friend of mine a pariah for weeks at a time? Did he express something Facebook thought I would find objectionable so down the chain he goes?
As Facebook advertiser; The demographics are freaking Uber detailed. If I want to target one legged transsexuals with a model train fetish in the Norman Oklahoma area, I can. Admittedly, not by name, but I do get a number of matches for my parameters.
So I think the study is harmless, less so, considering the minute amount of people involved VS hundreds of millions of users who have their experience manipulated and their data sold. The first item being objectionable because the decision algorithm is not made clear and the second is objectionable because I think we all deserve a little cut off the top for the reselling of our data. Or at least tell me who you sold it to. That’d be good enough.
Yes, I totally realize the apparent incongruity of my commentary and the use of the same system to my own ends. I don’t think they are inconsistent though.