Earlier this week, we reported that everyone who changed their Facebook photo using a rainbow filter in the wake of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling was duped, as the social media site was using this as a test to see how much control they have over their users.
Now, new reports have revealed that these rainbow pictures were actually being used for government testing administered by the FBI.
“This is probably a Facebook experiment!” MIT network scientist Cesar Hidalg said on his Facebook page earlier this week. “The question is, how long will it take for people to change their profile pictures back to normal.”
Facebook has been caught doing psychological experiments on their users in the past, most recently last June.
“Facebook conducted a massive psychological experiment on 689,003 users, manipulating their news feeds to assess the effects on their emotions,”Forbes reported last year. “Facebook has the ability to make you feel good or bad, just by tweaking what shows up in your news feed.”
The backlash for this was so great that Facebook was forced to apologize for the testing.
“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. “And for that communication we apologize. We never meant to upset you.”
However, what many are forgetting is that Facebook received a good portion of their start-up funding from the CIA, meaning they could easily be performing tests for them as well.
“Facebook’s first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome ‘The Diversity Myth’, he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC,” wrote Matt Greenop, of the New Zealand Herald.
“The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company’s key areas of expertise are in “data mining technologies.”
If the CIA was really behind the rainbow photos, users who changed their profile pictures to this might be even dumber than we thought…
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments section.