Did Pentagon Help Fund Facebook’s Mood Manipulating Experiment?
2014-07-02 0:00

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

41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
2015-05-23 7:31
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech" 1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person? 2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes Do ...
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations. A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
2015-05-23 3:22
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes — a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant. An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
More News »