Facebook’s emotion study and research ethics:
- Facebook Manipulated 689,003 Users’ Emotions For Science | Kashmir Hill at Forbes (June 28): “Facebook’s data scientists manipulated the News Feeds of 689,003 users, removing either all of the positive posts or all of the negative posts to see how it affected their moods. If there was a week in January 2012 where you were only seeing photos of dead dogs or incredibly cute babies, you may have been part of the study. Now that the experiment is public, people’s mood about the study itself would best be described as ‘disturbed.’”
- Facebook unethical experiment : It made news feeds happier or sadder to manipulate people’s emotions. | Katy Waldman at Slate (June 28): “Facebook’s methodology raises serious ethical questions… ‘If you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, that’s experimentation,’ says James Grimmelmann, a professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland. ‘This is the kind of thing that would require informed consent.’”
- Facebook and Engineering the Public | Zeynep Tufecki at Medium (June 29): “I’m struck by how this kind of power can be seen as no big deal. Large corporations exist to sell us things, and to impose their interests, and I don’t understand why we as the research/academic community should just think that’s totally fine, or resign to it as ‘the world we live in’. That is the key strength of independent academia: we can speak up in spite of corporate or government interests.”
- Did Facebook and PNAS violate human research protections in an unethical experiment? | David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine (June 30): “As tempting of a resource as Facebook’s huge amounts of data might be to social scientists interested in studying online social networks, social scientists need to remember that Facebook’s primary goal is to sell advertising, and therefore any collaboration they strike up with Facebook information scientists will be designed to help Facebook accomplish that goal. That might make it legal for Facebook to dodge human subjects protection guidelines, but it certainly doesn’t make it ethical.”
- Double Union members have released the Open Diversity Data scoreboard: “Companies already collect data about their employee demographics. Let’s ask them to publish it. Open diversity data will make it easier for everyone to better understand the diversity landscape and work toward solutions.”
- Conference Inclusiveness | Coral Sheldon-Hess at Web Kunoichi (June 27): “I’ve been attending Open Source Bridge and, before this, AdaCamp… I’ve learned a lot about tech and maybe more about inclusivity. Upon consideration, I’ve realized my bar for conferences has now become ridiculously high.”
- Without a Safety Net: Talking Women-Owned Tech Startups with Section II’s Allie Esslinger | Ali at Autostraddle (June 28): “Aside from being a generally wonderful and wonderfully nerdy person, [Allie Esslinger is] also the co-founder and CEO of Section II — a sort of Netflix with just lesbian/queer women’s content.”
- Making Quora More Civil: | Marc Bodnick at the Quora Moderation Blog (May 14): “Quora aims to be the safest and most rewarding place on the internet for people to share knowledge… Earlier this year, we received feedback from people, including many women, about what we should be doing better to address various issues related to respectfulness and civility — including the importance of dealing with the problem of microaggression. We take feedback like this seriously, and I want to summarize recent changes that we’ve made to address this feedback.”
- The Quest to Understand Feminism Through ‘World of Warcraft’ | Zack Kotzer at Motherboard (June 25): “[Angela] Washko travels the highly-successful fantasy landscape [World of Warcraft], asking players what they think feminism is.” The result is the Playing a Girl video [no known transcript].
- Review: Women Destroy Science Fiction | Geek Girls Rule (June 26): FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!… Yeah, Women Destroy Science Fiction is totally great and everyone should read it!!!!”
- Sex and the NPCs: Videogames are teaching their players to hate women | Sarah Ditum at New Statesman (June 23): “Games tell a story about what women are for and how they can be treated, then gamers enact what they’ve learned upon any actual real-life women who wander trustingly into that realm.”
- Wait, do people think I’m a dude? On digital microcelebrity and gender | Robin James at Cyborgology (June 18): “Women academics, writers, and journalists also face constant challenges to their expertise. There’s the calling someone ‘Mrs.’ instead of ‘Dr.’ microaggression. There’s mistaking someone for staff, or, as is often the case with me, for a student.” James is discussing Tressie Cottom, “Who The Fuck Do You Think You Are?” Academic Engagement, Microcelebrity and Digital Sociology from the Far Left of the Matrix of Domination.
- Living as a woman in a science fiction future | Kari Sperring (June 16): “Uhura was different. So was Rydra. So, when I met them, were Anne McCaffrey’s female heroes. Lessa had her own dragon and went her own way — and was proved right, over and over… They were all at the very centre of their own lives and no-one expected them to step aside. I wanted that future so much and science fiction told me I would have it.” There’s a followup post at Collateral damage (June 17).
- Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies | Janine A. Clayton and Francis S. Collins at Nature News (May 14): “Today, just over half of [US National Institutes of Health]-funded clinical-research participants are women… There has not been a corresponding revolution in experimental design and analyses in cell and animal research — despite multiple calls to action1… The over-reliance on male animals and cells in preclinical research obscures key sex differences that could guide clinical studies. And it might be harmful: women experience higher rates of adverse drug reactions than men do.”
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