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Monday, August 18, 2014

When Cupid fires arrows double-blind: implicit informed agreement for online research?

By Anders Sandberg
Practical Ethics
Originally posted on Jul 31, 2014

A while ago Facebook got into the news for experimenting on its subscribers, leading to a fair bit of grumbling. Now the dating site OKCupid has proudly outed itself: We Experiment On Human Beings! Unethical or not?


The harm angle is more interesting. While Facebook affected the emotions slightly on people who might not have expected emotional manipulation, OKCupid is all about emotions and emotion-laden social interaction. People date because of the site. People have sex because of the site. People marry because of the site. Potentially manipulations could have far more far reaching consequences on OKCupid than on Facebook.

The entire blog post is here.