Facebook Global Policy Head Defends Controversial Experiment
Another Facebooker has spoken publicly about the controversial emotion experiment the company conducted without user consent in 2012.
The company’s global policy management head, Monkia Bickert, spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival, and had this to say when asked about it and potential legislation:
The tension between legislation and innovation…It is, in this specific incident that you’re referring to, although I’m not really the best expert in…probably our public statements are the best source for information there, I believe that was a week’s worth of research back in 2012, and most of the research that is done on Facebook…if you walk around on campus, and you listen to the engineers talking, it’s all about how do we make this product better? How do we better suit the needs of the population using this product, and how do we show them more of what they want to see and less of what they don’t want to see? And that’s innovation. That’s the reason that when you look at Facebook or YouTube, you’re always seeing new features, and that’s the reason that if you’ve got that one annoying friend from high school, who always posts photos of her toddler every single day, that’s the reason you don’t see all of those photos in your News Feed.
She went on to say say that it’s concerning to see legislation that could stifle creativity and innovation, and that Facebook needs to make sure it’s transparent about what it’s doing to make sure we don’t see such legislation.
Similarly, COO Sheryl Sandberg said this week that the company poorly communicated what it was doing with the research.