Posts

How the Facebook study became an ethics debate

Facebook’s recent study of the emotional behavior of some of its 1.3 billion users without their knowledge or consent has raised ethical concerns for academic research. When the study’s results were published in a science journal, people raised questions of privacy rights and research ethics.

The Facebook study has stirred up much controversy in terms of ethics. (Credit: Josh Constine)

The Facebook study has stirred up much controversy in terms of ethics. (Credit: Josh Constine)

“This is just the latest in a string of incidents that have raised questions about whether the privacy rights of Facebook’s nearly 1.3 billion users are being trampled by the company’s drive to dissect data and promote behavior that could help sell more online advertising,” reported the Associated Press in “Facebook Faces Inquiry over Psych Experiment: New Feed Content Manipulated for 700,000 Users” published in Daily Herald, July 3, 2014. British, Irish and French regulators are investigating the case to see if any privacy laws were violated. Read more

Crowdfunding academic research — Funding projects through the Internet

CrowdfundingIt seems like wherever you turn today in tech news there is another successful crowdfunding story. Funding projects through the Internet has garnered a great deal of attention because of platforms such as Kickstarter. But can the same idea for generating money to give small businesses or creative types a head start work for academic research as well? Some universities and researchers are testing the waters as increased competition and decreasing federal funding leave academia searching for ways to pay for their scholarly endeavors. Read more