Facebook finally just kind of apologized for manipulating the emotions of hundreds of thousands of people.
In a blog post published to Facebook, the company's chief technology officer expressed regret for a research experiment conducted on more than 689,000 Facebook users in 2012 in which news feeds were purposefully manipulated to alter people's moods. He also announced some changes the company plans to make to ensure future experiments won't be so creepy.
"It is clear now that there are things we should have done differently," Schroepfer writes. In the post, Schroepfer admits Facebook was "unprepared" for the backlash caused by the research. The experiment should have been more widely reviewed and better explained to users.
When word of the experiment leaked earlier this year, the public freaked out. Even the architect of the study admitted it was creepy, the Atlantic reported.
“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated,” Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said -- stopping short of apologizing for anything but the poor communication
In his post, Schroepfer goes farther than Sandberg but never explicitly says sorry. He also says Facebook will continue experimenting and researching our behavior.
"We’re committed to doing research to make Facebook better, but we want to do it in the most responsible way," Schroepfer writes.
He explains that going forward Facebook will give researchers "clearer guidelines," create a panel of review for the study, increase education for researchers and create a public website for its published research.