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Facebook Study Brings Human Research Issues to Forefront

July 16, 2014, 4:00 AM

A Facebook study indicating that manipulating online messages can influence emotion appeared in a scientific journal, leading to a public outcry that the social media giant violated the privacy of its users and Sen. Mark Warner’s (D-Va.) call for a federal investigation.

It also was a reminder of important research-related issues, from informed consent to privacy to big data, at a time when social media—and research using these platforms—is burgeoning.

“The Facebook study offers a new twist on an old type of research.”
— Jeffrey R. Botkin, University of Utah

“The Facebook study offers a new twist on an old type of research,” Jeffrey R. Botkin, ...