But the behemoth of social networks can afford to changes its approach, writes Evgeny Morozov in the Financial Times, because it has found better ways to understand, and “nudge”, its users.
Recently it faced criticism for an experiment in which it quietly removed from some users’ feeds more negative posts and more positive posts from others’.
“This revealed that those exposed to positive posts feel happier and write more positive posts as a result,” writes Morozov. “This, in turn, results in more clicks, which result in more advertising revenue.”
The experiment is evidence that “Facebook does not hesitate to tinker with its algorithms if it suits its business or social agenda”, says Morozov, one of the most interesting and challenging writers on technology today.
In an op-ed headlined “Facebook invades your personality, not your privacy”, he writes:
The reason to fear Facebook and its ilk is not that they violate our privacy. It is that they define the parameters of the grey and mostly invisible technological infrastructure that shapes our identity …