August 2, 2014
According to Kramer, Guillory, and Hancock (2014), Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Facebook began a research for one week in January of 2012, where users of Facebook were randomly chosen to experiment on the content of their status updates. However, one issue that was brought up was whether Facebook somehow invaded the users’ privacy without any consent. During the research researchers observed how negative and positive updates affected other users who viewed the updates. Facebook would omit emotional words on the users’ status as well. By increasing positive words others would post positively as well, same applied for negative post. Some unethical research practices that should have been avoided in this project were that they did not inform the users that they were being used for a research and they did not get any kind of consent or option to opt out of the research at any time. The work was consistent with Facebook’s Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research, (Kramer, Guillory, & Hancock, 2014). According to Facebook they had consent to begin a research with the statuses of the users, however it would have been a good idea to obtain consent from every user prior to beginning the research for the paper. Some users might not have been part of the research if they have known what it was consisting of, those users should have been given the opportunity to decline to be part of the research being done. One party that can face some type of injury would be the Facebook users. One type of injury that they may face is emotional distress. Emotional distress legal term is a negative emotional reaction—which may include fear, anger, anxiety, and suffering—endured/experienced by the victim of a tort, for which monetary damages may be awarded. ("YourDictionary ", 1996-2014). The users may feel some kind of emotional negative feeling due to the status that were “posted” by family members and friends. The status may lead to depression and or some kind of anxiety because of the negativity that the users saw on their timelines. The unethical behavior brought up in this research paper could affect the organization, users and society in a few different ways. The behavior may affect the organization because they may come across a large quantity of users deactivating the Facebook accounts. Which may be a downfall for the corporation. The Facebook users may be affected because they may feel betrayed and lied too. They may not want to continue using the Facebook accounts because of all the negative post and can feel down as well. Society may change their perspective towards the Facebook Corp. and not feel comfortable anymore using Facebook. Society as whole may feel unsecure as to what they post and what they see because they may feel like they will be used for another research project and not be notified.