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  • In defense of Facebook’s newsfeed study

    The Washington Post - 06/30/2014

    Is it problematic that Facebook was the one to run the study, and for commercial purposes? If you’re feeling exploited — either by Facebook’s collection of data or by the way the company used it — then you have a bigger issue with 21st-century enterprises more generally. Whether disclosed publicly or not, the use of data for controlled, randomized experiments is how businesses operate, argues Brian Keegan, a social science researcher at Northeastern University:

    “These tests are pervasive, active and on-going across every conceivable online and offline environment from couponing to product recommendations. Creating experiences that are “pleasing,” “intuitive,” “exciting,” “overwhelming” or “surprising” reflects the fundamentally psychological nature of this work: every A/B test is a psych experiment.”

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