Just days after it was revealed that Facebook manipulated posts on nearly 700,000 users’ news feeds in 2012 to see how it affected their emotions, law enforcement agencies across the United States have connected the secret experiment to hundreds of bizarre murders that took place that year.
Police re-examined the old cases and began to notice patterns that could only be explained by Facebook’s meddling.
“We had one really messed up serial killer in the Bronx who dressed up in coveralls and a straw hat before murdering victims with sharpened vegetables,” said Harold Perkyns, a New York City police sergeant. “Seemed pretty odd until we learned that Facebook had filled his news feed with Farmville updates.”
Perkyns said he feels that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, should be charged as an accomplice in the grim incidents.
“Zuckerberg isn’t the loveable geek portrayed in ‘The Social Network.’ Only a monster would purposefully cause a news feed to show 84 duck-faced selfies in a row. He undoubtedly shares some blame for that one case where the girl dressed up as a duck and literally pecked an elderly couple to death.”
Zuckerberg’s silence on the matter has only enraged users more, prompting many to abandon Facebook. Twitter, a competing social network, has taken advantage of the controversy and changed its slogan to, “An online community of people who aren’t lab rats.”
While the connection between Facebook’s mood manipulation and the crime spree is undeniably dark, experts claim that the result would have been much worse if the experiment had taken place in 2013.
“We’re just happy Facebook didn’t mess with people a year later, when Candy Crush became popular,” said leading criminal psychologist Brenda Wattkins. “Have you ever seen a body stuffed to the brim with gum balls? You would have.”