Facebook’s notorious emotional manipulation study received more online attention than any other scientific research in 2014, according to an analytics company.
The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks”, was published in the respected US journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in July.
It sparked outrage by revealing that Facebook had been experimenting on hundreds of thousands of unwitting users, attempting to induce an “emotional state” by selectively showing positive or negative stories in their news feeds.
Academic analysts Altmetric suggests that the research will have done wonders for the scientists’ public engagement metrics after it ranked number one for attention out of every scientific article published in 2014.
Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of the recorded attention was on Twitter, where the article was shared 4,000 times to almost 10 million people. On Facebook itself there was little reaction to the research, which was shared publicly just 344 times. However, there were likely to have been more private wall posts on Facebook, so the total cannot be determined.
The article was also mentioned in 300 news sites, 130 blogposts, 13 subreddits and even 113 Google+ profiles.
But while Facebook may be a natural topic for online attention, the rest of the top five articles are more varied – and so are their reasons for getting so much attention. Second place went to a seemingly unassuming paper in the Journal of Ethology titled “Variation in Melanism and Female Preference in Proximate but Ecologically Distinct Environments”. But a quick scan of the articles citing the paper reveals the reason for its notability: the article was published with an author’s comment left in, asking “should we cite the crappy Gabor paper here?”.
The rest of the top five at least made the list for their contents. Third place went to a study from Nature suggesting that artificial sweeteners could induce glucose intolerance, while fourth place was a breakthrough in stem-cell research also published in Nature.
And the fifth place? Research published in Frontiers in Zoology in which animal behaviourists watched dogs defecating and discovered that they were sensitive to small variations in the Earth’s magnetic field.
Euan Adie, founder of Altmetric, said: “It’s no surprise to see that the most shared articles of the year heavily mirror the media agenda, but interesting to note that on occasion online communities are drawing attention to studies that have not received a significant amount of mainstream coverage.
“For example, we had more than 2,000 tweets for a study on how gaining basic certification affected nursing confidence levels. This reached a combined following of more than 2.2 million followers, demonstrating how social media can really boost the profile of some online published studies.”
•What happens to your Facebook account when you die?
Virginia Kearney 5 days agofrom United States
Hi Ismail, here are some good topics:
How has Christianity influenced American (choose one: politics, sports, family life or holiday celebrations).
Why did Americans elect Donald Trump in 2016?
Ismail 6 days ago
Please , I want you to help me to find some topics for my research paper which is about American studies . But specific topics
Chalaya 5 months ago
This website is so helpful!!! Keep up the good work
Virginia Kearney 5 months agofrom United States
Hi Kaelyn! I'm very glad this helped you. You can find more topics in my Technology and Science topics lists. Pl
Kaelyn 5 months ago
This website has helped so much!! My teacher assigns a current event every week and most students are confused on what topic to choose and I told them about this website. I love how there is an article for every topic for easy citation.
Nichole Byrd 8 months ago
Does spending time on social media cause children to have mental health problems?
Virginia Kearney 9 months agofrom United States
Kmondoi, I am so glad that you were able to use my links to find the information you needed. I work so hard to try to provide the best possible links to find the answers that my students need. It makes me very happy to know that these worked for you and that you got a good grade.
kmondoi 9 months ago
thanks to the author , I got the solution my research topic from here which had given me headache for weeks .now I proudly presented a research which was ranked the best in my class
Virginia Kearney 9 months agofrom United States
Hi Ella-I'm so glad you wanted to work hard on your school project. I have five children, and my youngest has just learned this year how much fun it is to work even harder than your teacher expects. I hope you will come back for more ideas.
Ella is looking for a report 9 months ago
Hi! I am only 9 years old but i want to make my teacher proud and this website really helped. Was interested in the 3-D printing thingie. i really love the website! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
N.a.k 11 months ago
Wow this is so help full I'm so glad I found this website
Leah "the Bean" Sinder 11 months ago
Very helpful. I enjoyed reviewing the concepts listed and found them to be quite insightful-especially for individuals constructing essays.
Virginia Kearney 3 years agofrom United States
Hi Donna--Yes, I'm really interested in the 3-D printing idea. I had a student in my class this semester who knew someone who worked for a 3-D company which would allow you to design anything and then sell it online. If someone wanted to buy it, they can, and the company would then create it on their 3-D printer and ship it off! Amazing! There is actually a TEDD talk by the man who is developing the 3-D printer for organs and body parts. I didn't include it in the article because it is less interesting at the beginning, and I thought it would not capture a person's attention as well, but it you are interested, you might want to check it out.
Donna Caprio Quinlan 3 years agofrom Newburyport, MA
Great current event topics! I saw a TV segment on 3d printers. It is pretty amazing what they can copy. The video you posted about the next possibility being copying body parts and organs is incredible!
Kati Mc 3 years ago
Awesome! Great research topics