News that Facebook used 700-thousand users as guinea pigs in a 2012 psychological experiment is not shocking to a local social media expert. who says when you use a product for free, you get what you pay for.
Jesse Miller says using Facebook is not like choosing a fee-for-use service like a bank,
where you can go to a competitor if you are not satisfied.
With Facebook, he says, all you can do is leave,
“Users themselves are basically part of the product and that’s where we see the users complaining and saying well, this is not ethical but it’s partially fair based on Facebook providing a service and users getting to use it for free.”
What was unethical, Miller says, is what the researchers did which was to manipulate access to material and it ultimately skewed their results.
He says what we can learn from this is to take conversations offline when a friend on Facebook seems to be having a hard time.