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Facebook's social experiment catches some users off guard

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Facebook's social experiment catches some users off guard
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San Francisco, CA (CNN) - In a social media space where we share so much, Facebook appears caught off guard again. Users are angry over the site snooping and gathering data to manipulate its messages….but those who complain need to read the fine print.


Here's something you probably aren't going to "Like:” Facebook messing with your emotions, all in the name of research.

Adi Kamtar - Activist, EFF: “They're basically turning hundreds of thousands of users into guinea pigs, which we apparently agreed to when we signed up for the service.”

Back in 2012, Facebook adjusted the news feeds of 700,000 members to try and see if happy posts made them sadder, or the opposite. It's based on the premise people get depressed watching other people's Kodak moments on screen.

Kodous Moutiarou - Facebook user: “They shouldn't be doing that at all and I believe it's wrong to do so and, you know, happiness is personal.”

The problem is that Zuckerberg and company didn't ask for permission from their study subjects. They gleaned it from that Terms of Service page we all zoom past.

Adi Kamtar: “A lot of times when you're doing this sort of psychological research, you do need informed consent from the subject and by clicking on the terms were we really giving informed consent?”

With all the information in the world right at our fingertips at all times, some people merely shrugged their shoulders at the Facebook created emotional turmoil.

Peter Bronchato - Facebook user: “With all marketing and advertising that's going around, I guess I'm not surprised, probably helps them tailor their ads a little better.”

Courtney McGovern - Facebook User: “You can't really stop 'em, but I don't think they should be able to do it.”

With the data of more than a billion users worldwide, Facebook knows more about you than you than your mom. If you want that change, it might be time to do more than scroll past the 9,000 word service agreement.

Vivian Brunchvug - Facebook user: “Mr. Zuckerberg says there is no more privacy anymore, and that's unfortunate. I believe in privacy.”

Facebook's mood manipulation experiment lasted a week. The company isn't revealing which users were affected.