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Facebook Rainbows Were A Social Experiment.


reiniat
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In 1774 Goethe published The Sorrows Of Young Werther, it propelled Goethe to international (read European) fame, hell, Napoleon Bonaparte wrote a soliloquy in its style and brought Goethe's book trough his Egypt campaign, young men all over Europe began dressing as Werther did in the novel....

And then a wave of suicides swept trough Europe, specially young men, almost all of them had come into contact with The Sorrows Of Young Werther. Then the book was banned.

 

That thing is social contagion, its most straightforward (and a bit loose) definition is "the spread of activities, moods, ideas or neuroses trough a group". Or in words of Paul Marsden:

"that sociocultural phenomena can spread through, and leap between, populations more like outbreaks of measles or chicken pox than through a process of rational choice."

 

Ever since it was discovered, and like many other areas of social research, social contagion became unorganized and incoherent, theres not really a theoretical foundation for it, however memetics do posses a framework upon which social contagion can be researched.

 

So, what is the memetics stance? It is a theory based on Darwinian evolution applied to culture, where a meme (yeah, thats were the word comes from) functions as an analogy of a gene and its conceived as a unit of culture, hosted on the minds of one or more individuals, and this has allowed researchers to explain the spread of a non-rational behavior in terms of the fitness of that behavior itself.

This not only explains why pictures, hashtags, videos, etc become "viral", but also widespread phenomena like cults, chain letters/emails, religion, urban legends, consumer behavior, political revolutions, war etc.

 

And of course, Facebook business considers the user as the product in question, so they have almost total control over the Facebook ecosystem and that allows them to make experiments freely.

So, thats why three years ago more than 3 million people changed their profile images to the red equals sign (the Human Rights Campaign logo, see the fourth link).

And thats why everyone put stupid rainbows in their profile pictures last week, some people did it even tough they were not in favor of gay marriage, some others changed their minds in the process, some people were completely disconnected from the news and just did it because everyone else was doing it, and now Facebooks holds all that data.

 

If that is not proof that Jesse Eisenberg as social media billionaire Lex Luthor in Dawn Of Justice is the clever-est villain that Zack Snyder could come up with then i dont know what it is.

 

Sources (this could have been a very very long article, it wasnt, so if you wanna know more, be sure to clic the links and do your own research):

For memetics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memetics

For the link between memetics and social contagion: http://cfpm.org/jom-emit/1998/vol2/marsden_p.html

For Facebook handling your data like i handled your mom (i couldnt resist):

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/06/were-all-those-rainbow-profile-photos-another-facebook-experiment/397088/

2013 Facebook's experiment: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2675290

See also copycat suicide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copycat_suicide

Edited by reiniat
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Not A Nice Person

Or people just think rainbow pictures look cool

sarcasm.gif

Edited by Sayuri
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Or it's just a feature added for people who wish to show solidarity towards the gay community. Just a theory, though.

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Mr. Scratch

Nah, you're just blind, there's clearly some conspiracy here.

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make total destroy

What does everyone make of this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWjeITmDmmo

  • Like 3

yqwcbDf.png

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Oh the typical conspiracy posts. Except its not a conspiracy because all the parts are open about their activities.

 

The interesting thing here is youre acting exactly like social engineering would dictate, caricaturing perfectly known facts so you can ignore them and move on.

I honestly wasnt expecting that, thats what i wrote "well not exactly all of you".

Edited by reiniat
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The interesting thing here is youre acting exactly like social engineering would dictate, caricaturing perfectly known facts so you can ignore them and move on.

I don't think they're laughing at the facts, I think they're laughing at the way you presented them.

 

C'mon, you literally unironically called us sheep. That's where the conspiracy-related posts are coming from. People know that Facebook isn't making money of letting people share their stuff, and people also know that Facebook is pretty terrible. People also know that folk like to 'blindly' follow what everyone else is doing, because that's what trends and memes are.

 

I don't really know what you were trying to say here.

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gwZr6Zc.png

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Dude zuckerferg or whatever wants to put like neural implants so whatever your thinking becomes a status update. Dafuq some people see some don't. I hate it all. Like this society needs to be anymore superficial an clique-y.

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The interesting thing here is youre acting exactly like social engineering would dictate, caricaturing perfectly known facts so you can ignore them and move on.

I don't think they're laughing at the facts, I think they're laughing at the way you presented them.

 

C'mon, you literally unironically called us sheep. That's where the conspiracy-related posts are coming from. People know that Facebook isn't making money of letting people share their stuff, and people also know that Facebook is pretty terrible. People also know that folk like to 'blindly' follow what everyone else is doing, because that's what trends and memes are.

 

I don't really know what you were trying to say here.

 

But i did it ironically, and then i even made a joke about Batman VS Superman, and a SpongeBob reference.

Well i guess it flew over their heads.

The thematic is social contagion and memetics, thats why theres sauces at the end of the post, honestly i didnt want to write a huge wall of text so i just made it fun (and apparently failed) and decided to leave the info there.

Next time ill write the wall of text (itll be about the Riemann Hypothesis, so yeah).

Edited by reiniat
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ROCKSTAR MANIC

?? Is this one of those Milestone topics?? :blink: should i say congrats??

 

Hehe JK. OT: yeah they have always done stuff like this. Im one of those few that don't have a social profile.

Edited by ROCKSTAR MANIC
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No offense but you lost some credibility when you used the word 'sauces' to refer to your research reference links.

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No offense but you lost some credibility when you used the word 'sauces' to refer to your research reference links.

I hope I earn it back when you clic on them and realize they are from the University of Sussex and from the actual workers at Facebook that carried out the experiment.

Still, let me fix that sh*t.

 

EDIT; It is done.

Edited by reiniat
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Yes, people like to imitate other people on whatever so they feel included in a group, not really a recent behavior neither,

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Oh no..I'm cool with your argument and all. Sorry, didn't mean to come off as cranky.

 

I don't participate in social media or any of the current trends. Not because I'm cool or anything, but more because I'm a bit on the older side.

 

Facebook and whatever other social media wave are carrying the trends are just the 21st century twist on basic mob mentality.

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Facebook and whatever other social media wave are carrying the trends are just the 21st century twist on basic mob mentality.

That puts into words most of my thoughts on social media. The digital age is great for getting truth spread but there's just as much bs as well. I dont like were it's all headed.

Edited by Macsnowblind707
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Facebook is a business and youre the product.

 

Welcome to late-stage capitalism. If you have a problem then just get off the train*

 

 

That thing is social contagion, its most straightforward (and a bit loose) definition is "the spread of activities, moods, ideas or neuroses trough a group". Or in words of Paul Marsden:

 

"that sociocultural phenomena can spread through, and leap between, populations more like outbreaks of measles or chicken pox than through a process of rational choice."

 

So, thats why three years ago more than 3 million people changed their profile images to the red equals sign (the Human Rights Campaign logo, see the fourth link), thats also why memes exist, thats why videos, hashtags, etc become viral.

 

The analogy to viral outbreaks is apt but only in the colloquial sense. The reality of the spread of culture is that it is more aligned with genetic variation than physical disease carryover: the likelihood that you will adopt this train-of-thought or that train-of-thought is dependent on your upbringing and the physical characteristics by which you live your life. Culture is, to put it very briefly, dependent on the material circumstances. With this knowledge you can do a lot, but the two most common reactions are 1) deferring the abstract understanding reality in favor of more immediate threats (house payments, social interaction) or 2) rejecting the conclusion and continuing to exist with the understanding that cultural phenomena is of absolute value or of independent, objective metrics. Both have their problems.

 

Culture comes down to the spread of peculiarities in language and communication. Language is the most powerful tool we have. We exist in the capacity we do due to the tools by which we used to manufacture the world around us. It is not a revelation, therefore, to acknowledge the reality of how language and propagation of languages allows for us to control any number of other entities in the known-universe. Likewise, it is not a revelation to acknowledge that we ourselves are controlled by an innumerable set of cultural parameters. Just as we know that a boy raised on a farm in rural Kentucky circa 1902 is slightly more likely to see homosexuality as evil, we know also that a boy living in Kentucky in 2015 with access to the Internet is slightly more likely to see homosexuality as OK, or at least negligible-- and this is taking into account the near-infinite set of factors that goes into determining the more complex decision-making processes like that.

 

 

 

* - the train is inescapable and ever-accelerating toward a bright red wall of doom that spans the ever-shortening horizon, and every action you take brings the train toward a higher speed and you see now your future and the future of all the passengers beside you: it is bleak and dim and full of ash and those who exist sift through the shadows in a dull world cursing people like you and me for our complicity in the hastened end of a beautiful world in favor of mechanical struts and cheaper cheeseburgers.

kzgN7qp.png

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Dude, Tyler, keepin it real. I love this topic of discussion.

 

f*ck the train, I'm gonna be like Christopher McCandless but not eat the poison plants.

Edited by Macsnowblind707
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Yes, people like to imitate other people on whatever so they feel included in a group, not really a recent behavior neither,

Discovered and studied 200 years ago, and it exists since the first species of mammals developed gregarious behavior, yes it is a pretty old thing.

 

 

* - the train is inescapable and ever-accelerating toward a bright red wall of doom that spans the ever-shortening horizon, and every action you take brings the train toward a higher speed and you see now your future and the future of all the passengers beside you: it is bleak and dim and full of ash and those who exist sift through the shadows in a dull world cursing people like you and me for our complicity in the hastened end of a beautiful world in favor of mechanical struts and cheaper cheeseburgers.

That is so perfect...

Jcj3GTa.gif

Edited by reiniat
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Edited - And so it goes...

Edited by Eram
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Mr. Scratch

 

Facebook is a business and youre the product.

Welcome to late-stage capitalism. If you have a problem then just get off the train*

 

 

f*ckin' capitalism, man.

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Masketta Man

Memetics is a very interesting field of study, and very relevant now, moreso as more people connect to the internet and get wired up. The internet's a place with no inhibitions and infinite mindless sheep, some harder to break than others, but they can all be done with the power of free-flowing information! Facebook has a ton of influence, they could probably get a bunch of us to jump off a cliff; even people without that sort of influence can have a massive and meaningful effect, we saw that a few years ago with the #cut4bieber hashtag.

Humans become the information superhighway (which, btw, is a very cool term). As long as you talk with others you become a node. This isn't necesarilly bad, but it's good to know that you're potentially spreading memes, even when you don't think you are. It can be fun to see if you can get people to adopt certain talking patterns or to post certain images, on small sites it's pretty easy to get a butterfly effect going, on bigger sites you need more dedicated resources. There are currently 508 dedicated memetic cells operating in the United States, you are a part of some of them.

It's all inaccess deep to your head.

Edited by Masketta Man
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The word "meme" and its concept came from Richard Dawkins. It was an analogy he used to explain parts of genetic theory. Dawkins didn't believe there would be any serious mileage in memetics as a theory in its own right.

Edited by Jehannum
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Facebook itself has pulled off social experiments on its users before. I recall a social experiment where the site intentionally filtered off positive statuses and showed you negative ones to bring you down. Bastards.

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Spaghetti Cat

Honestly I stopped reading after Goethe. But yeah, don't do the Facebook kids.

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