Scientists Are Just as Confused about the Ethics of Big-Data Research as You

May 23, 2016

(Wired) – When a rogue researcher last week released 70,000 OkCupid profiles, complete with usernames and sexual preferences, people were pissed. When Facebook researchers manipulated how stories appear in News Feeds for a mood contagion study in 20141, people were really pissed. OkCupid filed a copyright claim to take down the dataset; the journal that published Facebook’s study issued an “expression of concern.” Outrage has a way of shaping ethical boundaries. We learn from mistakes.