Facebook engaged in a large study – 693,003 users – to see if emotional states could be transferred or changed via the emotional content of the news feed. Facebook did not feel it was necessary to get subjects’ consent before conducting the study. Here are 3 more reasons WHY this study IS IMPORTANT to us all!!
Following the spirit as well as the letter of the law is the key to successful compliance. In turn, any governance depends upon the participants doing their job thoroughly and carefully.
In this case, the academics thought this was an important subject that could be nicely studied with Facebook users. They may not have considered how much it might upset users and the media.
Cornell University has a its procedure in place for getting approval for research with human subjects. As the image below illustrates, the researcher is expected to reflect on the project and if in doubt, ask for help.