Facebook user trust high enough to shun 99 Days of Freedom campaign

Facebook users are not leaving the site in droves following its now notorious experiment into the mood changes of its customers despite a viral campaign urging them to do so.

The campaign, named 99 Days of Freedom from Facebook, challenged users to abandon the social networking site for 99 days and what started as a joke campaign only ended up attracting some 2,800 users worldwide.

“To a person, everyone had at least a ‘complicated’ relationship with Facebook. Whether it was being tagged in unflattering photos, getting into arguments with other users or simply regretting time lost through excessive use, there was a surprising degree of negative sentiment. Then someone joked, ‘I guess that the real question is, ‘How do you feel when you don’t use Facebook?’ There was group laughter, followed by, ‘Wait a second. That’s a really good question!” stated Merijn Straathof, art director at Just, the company responsible for the ad campaign.

Related: A closer look a Facebook’s experiment with its users’ emotions

Just’s plan to play on the negative attitudes of Facebook users simply hasn’t worked due to the fact that the site’s users just don’t care enough about the breach of trust that comes from the experiments.

“The mood experiments that have brought negative attention to Facebook’s news feed display tactics are a serious breach of user trust, but as in the past, users just don’t seem to care, and if they do, they haven’t made much of it,” Brian Blau, research director of consumer technology and markets at Gartner told WSJ. “That said, Facebook needs to be careful, though, as their issues surrounding these mood experiments haven’t been fully resolved. We could see this evolve into a bigger fiasco, but most likely it won’t amount to much in terms of how users engage with the service.”

Facebook’s one-week experiment took place back in 2012 and centred on 700,000 user news feeds with the site taking control of them to show higher volumes of either positive or negative post before noting how users reacted.

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