July 7, 2014

INFORMED CONSENT: Journal Expresses “Concern” About Facebook Study.

The journal that published that controversial Facebook study on Monday issued an “Editorial Expression of Concern” about the study.

The editor-in-chief of the The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences—one of the biggest and most important peer-review journals in science—didn’t exactly apologize for the study, and said that “PNAS editors deemed it appropriate to publish the paper.” But she did write:

“It is nevertheless a matter of concern that the collection of the data by Facebook may have involved practices that were not fully consistent with the principles of obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to opt out.”

Yes, and you can’t even count terms-of-use boilerplate as consent, because the boilerplate wasn’t added to the terms of use until months after the study was done.