Respond to the scenario with no less than 100 words and cite the ethical standard (name and number – for example “1.07 Improper Complaints
In 2014, investigators from several academic research institutions collaborated with Facebook to test whether reducing the number of positive or negative messages people saw made them less likely to post positive or negative content themselves (Kramer, Guillory, & Hancock, 2014), The experiment was carried out by manipulating the algorithm by which Facebook sweep posts into members news feeds. Participants were not informed they were a part of this research investigators involved in the study defended the absence of informed consent for a study designed to influence emotions, arguing that the manipulation was consistent with Facebook’s Data Use Policy, to which all users must agree at the time they join Facebook (Goel, 2014), However, the Facebook policy only mentions “research” in general terms (e.g., “We may use the information we receive about you… for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement” (Waldman, 2014). The investigators also argue that they were using “archival” data collecting by a business entity, despite the fact that they were involved in the initial study design. According to the APA Ethics Code, was the psychologists’ involvement in this study ethical or unethical?