Experimentation occurs when particular factors are manipulated in a way to prove or disprove a hypothesis. The subjects of experimentation vary from substances, to animals, to human beings. Animals may not have control on whether they are experimented on or not but we humans must give written consent to be the subjects of tests.
Were you aware that in the year 2012, Facebook users were subject to illegal experimentation? Users were manipulated to feel emotions that were not their own. This was done without their consent. They had no knowledge whatsoever that the experiment was happening.
“It was claimed that Facebook may have breached ethical and legal guidelines by not informing its users they were being manipulated in the experiment, which was carried out in 2012.” The Guardian
How did Facebook manage to control its user’s emotions? The newsfeeds of 689 000 users were altered to filter certain things in or out of the feed (video’s, images, status’, etc). Depending on the type of “news” they would read/watch on the newsfeed (positive or negative content), their emotions would change.
Is this unethical? No harm was caused to the users but I believe harm was brought to Facebook as well as any other social networks. The trust users have had for these types of websites will have faded.