Module Six Critical Thinking Exercise

Learning Goal: I’m working on a management discussion question and need support to help me learn.

All original threads should be at least 250 words. This parameter helps to promote writing that is thorough, yet concise enough to permit other students to read all the postings. The thoughts and opinions expressed in your thread need to be substantiated by research and literature (from the textbook or outside sources). All references should be in correct APA style. While this is a formal discussion environment, you are allowed to use the first person perspective in all your posts since you will be expressing your personal opinions. All original threads should: Bring clarity to the issues being discussed. Raise new and novel (yet relevant) points. Relate issues to personal experience. Rationally defend your stated position.

FACEBOOK, INC.

Facebook has been in the news with criticism of its privacy policies, sharing customer information with Fusion GPS, and criticism regarding the attempts to influence the 2016 election. In March 2014, Facebook released a study entitled “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks.” It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journal. The paper explains how social media can readily transfer emotional states from person to person through Facebook’s News Feed platform. Facebook conducted an experiment on members to see how people would respond to changes in a percentage of both positive and negative posts. The results suggest that emotional contagion does occur online and that users’ positive expressions can generate positive reaction, while, in turn, negative expression can generate negative reaction.

Facebook has two separate value propositions aimed at two different markets with entirely different goals.

Originally, Facebook’s main market was its end users—people looking to connect with family and friends. At first, it was aimed only at college students at a handful of elite schools. The site is now open to anyone with an Internet connection. Users can share status updates and photographs with friends and family. And all of this comes at no cost to the users.

Facebook’s other major market is advertisers, who buy information about Facebook’s users. The company regularly gathers data about page views and browsing behavior of users in order to display targeted advertisements to users for the benefit of its advertising partners.

The value proposition of the Facebook News Feed experiment was to determine whether emotional manipulation would be possible through the use of social networks. This clearly could be of great value to one of Facebook’s target audiences—its advertisers.

The results suggest that the emotions of friends on social networks influence our own emotions, thereby demonstrating emotional contagion via social networks. Emotional contagion is the tendency to feel and express emotions similar to and influenced by those of others. Originally, it was studied by psychologists as the transference of emotions between two people.

According to Sandra Collins, a social psychologist and University of Notre Dame professor of management, it is clearly unethical to conduct psychological experiments without the informed consent of the test subjects. While tests do not always measure what the people conducting the tests claim, the subjects need to at least know that they are, indeed, part of a test. The subjects of this test on Facebook were not explicitly informed that they were participating in an emotional contagion experiment. Facebook did not obtain informed consent as it is generally defined by researchers, nor did it allow participants to opt out.

When information about the experiment was released, the media response was overwhelmingly critical. Tech blogs, newspapers, and media reports reacted quickly.

Josh Constine of TechCrunch wrote:

“ . . . there is some material danger to experiments that depress people. Some people who are at risk of depression were almost surely part of Facebook’s study group that were shown a more depressing feed, which could be considered dangerous. Facebook will endure a whole new level of backlash if any of those participants were found to have committed suicide or had other depression-related outcomes after the study.”

The New York Times quoted Brian Blau, a technology analyst with the research firm Gartner, “Facebook didn’t do anything illegal, but they didn’t do right by their customers. Doing psychological testing on people crosses the line.” Facebook should have informed its users, he said. “They keep on pushing the boundaries, and this is one of the reasons people are upset.”

While some of the researchers have since expressed some regret about the experiment, Facebook as a company was unapologetic about the experiment. The company maintained that it received consent from its users through its terms of service. A Facebook spokesperson defended the research, saying, “We do research to improve our services and make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible. . . . We carefully consider what research we do and have a strong internal review process.”

With the more recent events, Facebook is changing the privacy settings but still collects an enormous amount of information about its users and can use that information to manipulate what users see. Additionally, these items are not listed on Facebook’s main terms of service page. Users must click on a link inside a different set of terms to arrive at the data policy page, making these terms onerous to find. This positioning raises questions about how Facebook will employ its users’ behaviors in the future.

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. How should Facebook respond to the 2014 research situation? How could an earlier response have helped the company avoid the 2018 controversies and keep the trust of its users?
  2. Should the company promise to never again conduct a survey of this sort? Should it go even further and explicitly ban research intended to manipulate the responses of its users?
  3. How can Facebook balance the concerns of its users with the necessity of generating revenue through advertising?
  4. What processes or structures should Facebook establish to make sure it does not encounter these issues again?
  5. Respond in writing to the issues presented in this case by preparing two documents: a communication strategy memo and a professional business letter to advertisers.

Sources: Kramer, Adam; Guillory, Jamie; and Hancock, Jeffrey, “Experimental evidence of massive scale emotional contagion through social networks,” PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). March 25, 2014 http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full; Laja, Peep. “Useful Value Proposition Examples (and How to Create a Good One), ConversionXL, 2015 http://conversionxl.com/value-proposition-examples-how-to-create/; Yadav, Sid. “Facebook – The Complete Biography,” Mashable, Aug. 25, 2006. http://mashable.com/2006/08/25/facebook-profile/#orb9TmeYHiqK; Felix, Samantha, “This Is How Facebook Is Tracking Your Internet Activity,” Business Insider, Sept. 9, 2012 http://www.businessinsider.com/this-is-how-facebook-is-tracking-your-internet-activity-2012-9;

Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Choose Us

Quality Papers

We value our clients. For this reason, we ensure that each paper is written carefully as per the instructions provided by the client. Our editing team also checks all the papers to ensure that they have been completed as per the expectations.

Professional Academic Writers

Over the years, our Acme Homework has managed to secure the most qualified, reliable and experienced team of writers. The company has also ensured continued training and development of the team members to ensure that it keep up with the rising Academic Trends.

Affordable Prices

Our prices are fairly priced in such a way that ensures affordability. Additionally, you can get a free price quotation by clicking on the "Place Order" button.

On-Time delivery

We pay strict attention on deadlines. For this reason, we ensure that all papers are submitted earlier, even before the deadline indicated by the customer. For this reason, the client can go through the work and review everything.

100% Originality

At Essay USA, all papers are plagiarism-free as they are written from scratch. We have taken strict measures to ensure that there is no similarity on all papers and that citations are included as per the standards set.

Customer Support 24/7

Our support team is readily available to provide any guidance/help on our platform at any time of the day/night. Feel free to contact us via the Chat window or support email: support@acmehomework.com.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

Essay USA has stood as the world’s leading custom essay writing services providers. Once you enter all the details in the order form under the place order button, the rest is up to us.

Essays

Essay Writing Services

At Essay USA, we prioritize on all aspects that bring about a good grade such as impeccable grammar, proper structure, zero-plagiarism and conformance to guidelines. Our experienced team of writers will help you completed your essays and other assignments.

Admissions

Admission and Business Papers

Be assured that you’ll definitely get accepted to the Master’s level program at any university once you enter all the details in the order form. We won’t leave you here; we will also help you secure a good position in your aspired workplace by creating an outstanding resume or portfolio once you place an order.

Editing

Editing and Proofreading

Our skilled editing and writing team will help you restructure you paper, paraphrase, correct grammar and replace plagiarized sections on your paper just on time. The service is geared toward eliminating any mistakes and rather enhancing better quality.

Coursework

Technical papers

We have writers in almost all fields including the most technical fields. You don’t have to worry about the complexity of your paper. Simply enter as much details as possible in the place order section.