Did Pentagon Help Fund Facebook’s Mood Manipulating Experiment?
2014 07 02

By Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. | The New American



Did the Defense Department pay Facebook to manipulate the emotions of users without their knowledge?

For those unfamiliar with Facebook’s latest apparent participation with the Pentagon (we know Facebook has helped the NSA, which falls under the Pentagon’s authority), here’s a summary published by Wired:

For one week in 2012, Facebook altered the algorithms it uses to determine which status updates appeared in the News Feed of 689,003 randomly selected users (about 1 of every 2,500 Facebook users). The results of this study were just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

As the authors explain, “[b]ecause people’s friends frequently produce much more content than one person can view,” Facebook ordinarily filters News Feed content “via a ranking algorithm that Facebook continually develops and tests in the interest of showing viewers the content they will find most relevant and engaging.” In this study, the algorithm filtered content based on its emotional content. A post was identified as “positive” or “negative” if it used at least one word identified as positive or negative by software (run automatically without researchers accessing users’ text).

Users were not aware of their “participation” in the mind-control experiment and were never afforded an opportunity to opt out of the study. As Wired explained, “The closest any of us who might have participated in Facebook’s huge social engineering study came to actually consenting to participate was signing up for the service.”

It’s despicable that Facebook would abuse the trust of users in this manner and meddle with users’ mental state in a Kafka-esque experiment, but the story becomes more sinister when one digs a little deeper into the source of the funding for the study.

Two of the three authors of the paper that reported the findings of the research are employed by the University of California-San Francisco and Cornell, respectively. Why does this matter?

The original press release issued by Cornell reported that “The study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office.” As soon as this little admission against interest started stoking fires of controversy, Cornell retracted the story, insisting that “the study received no external funding.”

This is hard to believe, particularly in light of the known participation of Cornell and its professor of Communication and Information Science, Jeffrey Hancock, with a hush-hush Pentagon study of social media and how to manipulate it. As The Guardian reported a couple of weeks ago:

A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands."

Launched in 2008 — the year of the global banking crisis — the DoD ’Minerva Research Initiative’ partners with universities "to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US."

[...]




Facebook secretly manipulated moods of 700,000 users in huge creepy psychology experiment

Gods of War: The "Minerva Research Initiative" - DoD Preparation For “Mass Civil Breakdown”





Related Articles
Revealed: UK govt intercepted Google, Facebook and Twitter comms
Confirmed: NSA Records ALL Phone Calls Using Project MYSTIC
Aggressive DNA Collection Campaign of Icelanders for Database
Former CIA director: ‘We kill people based on metadata’
Facebook mind control experiments linked to DoD research on civil unrest


Latest News from our Front Page

Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists
2014 11 01
Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades. The Big Circle called J1 is about 390 meters (1,280 feet) in diameter, with an open area created by bulldozing in its interior. Credit: David L. Kennedy, copyright is retained by the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology ...
Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
More News »