Facebook’s attempt to manipulate its users during a psychological study was “poorly communicated”, the social media giant’s chief operating officer said on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook conducted a study during one week in 2012 to test how lowering the number of positive or negative posts in news feeds could prompt users to post more positive or negative content, according to multiple media reports.
As part of the study, Facebook changed the mix in the news feeds of about 700 000 users.
“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was. It was poorly communicated, and for that communication we apologise,” Sheryl Sandberg said during a trip in New Delhi.
“We never meant to upset you.”
The study was published in March in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finding that users with more happy messages are more likely to post happy messages, according to Time magazine.