I wrote in my blog yesterday that if you had enough wisdom you would have a powerful sense of discernment and you would know when something you hear or read is off base. It is becoming increasingly important that those who follow Jesus have great wisdom. Her is a short excerpt form a book I am reading ”The Manipulators: Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Big Tech’s War on Conservatives” by Peter Hasson.
Facebook wields enormous power over its users and has no qualms about exercising it. The tech giant collaborated with academics from Cornell and the University of California San Francisco to conduct experiments on the effects that tweaks to its News Feed algorithm had on users’ emotional states. The kicker: Facebook used its customers as guinea pigs in the experiment without their knowledge. In the experiment, which involved a jaw-dropping 689,000 users, Facebook manipulated individuals’ newsfeeds by increasing the share of positive material presented to some users and increasing the share of negative material to other users. In other words, Facebook tested its societal influence by tampering with the emotional states of private citizens without their consent. Facebook’s willingness to manipulate its users’ emotions—and its willingness to study the best way to do so—is important to keep in mind as the company pledges to manipulate America out of political polarization. Facebook has a history of quietly exerting its power to influence political opinions in America without its users’ knowledge. When the Black Lives Matter movement was still in its infantstage the Facebook employees who oversaw the company’s “trending topics” section received an order: push Black Lives Matter, and they did, and the rest is history.