London • British data protection authorities are investigating revelations that Facebook conducted a psychological experiment on its users.
The Information Commissioner's Office said Wednesday that it wants to learn more about the circumstances of the experiment carried out by two U.S. universities and the social network.
The commissioner's office is working with authorities in Ireland, where Facebook has headquarters for its European operations. French authorities are also reviewing the matter.
The researchers manipulated the news feeds of about 700,000 randomly selected users to study the impact of "emotional contagion," or how emotional states are transferred to others. The researchers said the evidence showed that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people and "in the complete absence of nonverbal cues."