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6 Trends From Facebook’s Compassion Research Day


CompassionResearchDay650Facebook is hosting the fourth Compassion Research Day Thursday at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., and the social network revealed six important trends its compassion research team discovered while partnering with researchers from Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, Stanford University, Northeastern University, Claremont McKenna University, and other institutions.

Facebook said in introducing the six trends, which it revealed during the event:

Conflict and other challenges in relationships are impossible to avoid, both online and off. While these are realities of life, scientists are only beginning to understand how unspoken rules of human interaction apply to attitudes and behavior online.

Working with leading researchers from institutions studying the science of emotion, Facebook is exploring how friction in relationships impacts life online, across dozens of languages and hundreds of cultures, all with different values, social cues and definitions of respectful behavior.

And the six trends were:

  1. With the right tools, people create a more respectful environment: In cases where the social network’s community standards are not violated, but users are still upset, Facebook suggested using its messaging tools and engaging in productive conversations. According to Facebook, when users are asked to remove photos that other users find embarrassing, it happens 85 percent of the time, with 65 percent of message recipients feeling positive, and 25 percent feeling neutral.
  2. People welcome feedback: 63 percent of Facebook users who receive messages about controversial posts reacted positively, and 62 percent said they had no problems being asked to remove the posts in question.
  3. Because they most likely didn’t mean to offend anyone: Only one out of every 10 users who were asked to remove controversial status updates or links said their posts were made to provoke other users or “prove a point.”
  4. When you offer the right tools, people will use them: The social network said that when it began its efforts to aid users in alerting other users about questionable content, it provided only an empty message box, and just 20 percent of offended users would send messages, but it now facilitates 3.9 million weekly conversations with its updated tools.
  5. Emoticons give people familiar ways to express themselves: Facebook said its users identify its emoticons “with impressive levels of accuracy,” adding that they were particularly helpful in South America and north Africa.
  6. Approaching an old problem with new tools: The social network mentioned its Bullying Prevention Hub, as well as “new contextual resources in the heart of the Facebook product.”

Readers: Have you ever encountered an uncomfortable situation on Facebook? How did you handle it?

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