'Were All Those Rainbow Profile Photos Another Facebook Study?' by J. NATHAN MATIAS in The Atlantic

" “This is probably a Facebook experiment!” joked the MIT network scientist Cesar Hidalgo on Facebook yesterday. “This is one Facebook study I want to be included in!” wrote Stacy Blasiola, a communications Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois, when she changed her profile.

“It's not an experiment or test,” Nevius told me of the rainbow feature. “Everyone sees the same thing.”

But all this raises a serious question: Is Facebook doing research with its “Celebrate Pride” feature? Facebook's data scientists have attracted public scrutiny for conducting experiments on its users: tracking their moods and voting behavior. Much less attention has been given to their ongoing work to better understand collective action and social change online."

Read the full article here.