Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has commented about the company’s participation in a controversial study, according to The Wall Street Journal, saying: “We never meant to upset you.’’
A pseudo-apology is usually a good idea for an executive of a major corporation facing a public firestorm. But as for her word choice…well, a simple “sorry’’ might have worked a little better.
The study in question, if you haven’t heard, sought to see what would happen if users were shown more negative or positive content in their news feed. It found some evidence that users’ moods mirror the mood of the content they are exposed to. In other words, the social media giant most certainly meant to upset its users.
In fairness to Sandberg, she’s not so much referring to the study itself as she is the widespread online outrage that Facebook would experiment on its users. (Which, by the way, is sort of the point of its service.) Her full quote reads: “This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated. And for that communication we apologize. We never meant to upset you.’’
But still. This one made me laugh.