This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: Facebook secretly experiments with users' News Feeds

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: Facebook secretly experiments with users' News Feeds

1:30 /

A recently published study reveals that nearly 700,000 people were unwitting participants in an experiment conducted by the social network. CNET's Sumi Das explains how News Feeds were manipulated and Facebook's justification for the covert research.

[NOISE] A secret experiment carried out by Facebook ia causing an uproar among its users. The Facebook feeds of nearly 700000 users, were filtered to feature more positive or negative content. Based on certain key words like excited, they can either make them more positive or more negative. And what they found is that the way that people talk on Facebook tends to impact the way that users feel. The study, which was published recently, took place over the course of a week in January 2012. It was conducted by two universities and Facebook's data sciences team. They need to make sure that they understand their user base. So, that they can serve us more appropriate adds, which is they way that they make money and keep running. Participants where never notify, and that's anger many. Facebook is about me and my friends. It's not suppose to be about manipulating in some way. But every user essentially grants the social network permission to conduct this kinds of experiments. When they create their accounts. There really isn't much recourse other than going to Facebook and deleting your account. In a statement, Facebook told c/net that it does research to quote: make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible. A big part of this is understanding how people respond to different types of content, whether it's positive, or negative in tone. Facebook also says it has a strong, internal review process. But, that may do little, to ease users' concerns, over, future testing. In San Fransisco, I'm Sumi Das, CNET.com for CBS News. [MUSIC]

New releases

Verizon-exclusive Sony Experia...
2:35 October 31, 2014
If you've been craving Sony's Xperia Z3, this sleek alternative comes close but is a little different: it...
Play video
Amazon Fire Phone burns on
2:54 October 31, 2014
Amazon hasn't given up on the Fire Phone, Facebook makes it easy to mask your identity with Tor, and the Starbucks...
Play video
The 404 Show 1,574: Halloween episode,...
26:08 October 31, 2014
It's an ultra-creepy episode of The 404 today -- way creepier than normal. Will Seth Rogen play Steve Wozniak?...
Play video
Skylink's boring security system...
2:37 October 31, 2014
This low-cost, DIY smart setup offers basic security without monthly fees
Play video
Everything you need to know about...
2:05 October 31, 2014
Google's Android Wear software is cropping up on a host of smartwatches. But what exactly is Android Wear...
Play video
RHA T10i: Stainless steel headphones...
0:00 October 31, 2014
The $200 RHA T10i is a great sounding in-ear headphone that's well-built and has some nice extras, including...
Play video
Most-anticipated games for Holiday...
3:03 October 31, 2014
The most sought after new titles that gamers want for the holidays.
Play video
The Toshiba Excite Go is budget...
2:02 October 31, 2014
This $99 tablet offers decent performance, but struggles with a lackluster display.
Play video