Metafilter mentioned (and linked) at Fast Company July 7, 2014 7:04 PM   Subscribe

"Why Academics Are Incensed By Facebook's Emotion-Manipulating Social Experiment" by Chris Gayomali
Comments on Metafilter filled a spectrum ranging from "meh" to furious: "I don't remember volunteering to participate in this. If I had tried this in graduate school, the institutional review board would have crapped bricks."
(See, was that so hard, New Yorker?)
posted by pmurray63 to MetaFilter-Related at 7:04 PM (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Ha, first time I've seen a MeFi mention that didn't have the explanatory aside afterwards, as in "popular internet web site MetaFilter" or "MetaFilter (an internet forum site blah blah)"

Messed up the CamelCase, though.
posted by ctmf at 7:26 PM on July 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: A spectrum ranging from "meh" to "furious".
posted by bleep at 7:32 PM on July 7, 2014 [41 favorites]


Metafilter: 2 Meh, 2 Furious.
posted by cashman at 7:59 PM on July 7, 2014 [39 favorites]


Isn't there some general sort of style convention for citing websites? They link to The Atlantic.
posted by mochapickle at 7:59 PM on July 7, 2014


(Oh, they did link to us. Bad me. Carry on.)
posted by mochapickle at 7:59 PM on July 7, 2014


I thought the founder of Woot.com had exclusive rights to Meh now.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:19 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: popular internet web site
posted by John Cohen at 8:38 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I remember volunteering to participate in this.
posted by michaelh at 8:41 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


You are pleased to hear about this shout-out.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:58 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hello, Google! Remember us? *waves*
posted by arcticseal at 9:17 PM on July 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


"meh" to furious in less than 12 parsecs
posted by XMLicious at 9:29 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ah maaann. Now I have to go read that 400 comment thread to see how 690K users are a small sample.
posted by Mitheral at 9:33 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Frequentist bullshit, Mitheral. Bayesians wouldn't accept that assertion.
posted by taff at 9:35 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Having written and designed this experiment myself, I can tell you that our goal was never to upset anyone."

That seems incorrect. Wasn't that pretty much exactly one of the things they tried to do?
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:59 AM on July 8, 2014 [25 favorites]


It's the equivalent of the non-apology "I'm sorry if anyone was offended."
posted by XMLicious at 1:29 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mmmno, it feels different to me.
We can never really be sure if someone is sorry, but if someone runs an experiment designed to make people happy or sad, and then says it was not intended to upset anyone, that is clearly factually incorrect: the experiment consisted of trying to upset people (or make them happy).
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:54 AM on July 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


That seems incorrect. Wasn't that pretty much exactly one of the things they tried to do?

Yea wait... so are they saying the experiment was a failure?

That's the equivalent of saying that your intention was never to damage any cars... in front of a crash testing facility... after you had just spent the past few months crashing thousands of cars.

What?

That's like, little kid playing ball in the house and the lamp breaks "but i didn't have anything to do with it, it just fell over!" level bullshit.
posted by emptythought at 2:59 AM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


More like little kid playing 'smash the lamp' and the lamp breaks. It's not collateral damage if it's what you set out to do.
In other words, I liked your first example better. That was spot on.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:32 AM on July 8, 2014


The goal of all of our research at Facebook is to learn how to provide a better service for our advertising partners. Having written and designed this experiment myself, I can tell you that our goal was never to upset anyone our advertising partners. I can understand why some people our advertising partners have concerns about it, and my coauthors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused to our advertising partners.
posted by Ned G at 3:47 AM on July 8, 2014 [13 favorites]


I suppose to parse it more favorably, it would be something like "Having written and designed this experiment myself, I can tell you that our goal was never to upset anyone [with the design of the experiment itself]."
posted by Rock Steady at 6:44 AM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


In what universe is n~=690,000 a small sample? Sample size is measured in absolute, not relative, terms.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:58 AM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


In an infinite universe, any sample size will be tiny since X/infinity is damn close to zero.
posted by waraw at 10:04 AM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wonder if that's a misprint - the effect size is what's tiny, less than 1/10 of one percent.
posted by heyforfour at 1:57 PM on July 8, 2014


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