Studying the readings on Facebook and the social experiment they conducted on emotion contagion made me think about the real ethical issues behind this study.
It can easily be argued and Facebook using anything we post on the social media site to be an invasion of privacy, however exactly how logical is this concept?
The studies on emotion contagion seen on the Facebook feed was merely a harmless social experiment which was conducted with archived content that we provide freely.It is folly to believe anything posted online is going to be even close to being private. Anyone and everyone who uses Facebook as a social media platform have signed up out of their own free will and therefore we’re all using Facebook at our own risk. The study was conducted over the period of a week. All data was collected by a computer to disable the researchers into seeing the post themselves, leaving the content of the post to be private. Researchers solved the logistics of the experiment by setting up a pre-selected group of keywords which indicated a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ emotional tone in a facebook post and then had a software compile the results into statistic data. Due to the way facebook handled the research, it does not bridge the terms of privacy. "Facebook doesn’t control what you write. it controls what you see."  stated on theconversation.com and at the end of the day this doesn’t hugely affect our lifestyle as it’s not like we sit by our phones refreshing the page every minute to ensure we were reading each and every status posted by our peers. It was only a short term, temporary study and nothing negative came out of it.
From the experiment it was seen shown that when positive expression on people’s newsfeed were reduced, people produced less positive posts and more negative ones and when negative expression were reduced, the opposite results were found. From the experiment "These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that in, contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.". I think it’s important to acknowledge the academic results from the social experiment as emotional contagion through an online platform because interactions on social media sites are something we’ve evidently immersed ourselves in and now at least we know what we’re getting ourselves into.