Data at Work: Facebook’s Dr. Mengele?

Facebook is headed down a rat hole, it seems, in both a figurative and literal sense. The revelations that it has conducted psychological experiments on its, nominally willing inmates, leads one to wonder if, like an earlier mad scientist, they have lost touch with their humanity. These behavioral experiments were done in the absence of consent and with no controls on the outcomes they might produce. They were done by men of science who saw the human condition as their personal Petri dish.

Dr. Mengele was a scientist of similar ilk, who in his role as a Nazi officer and Jewish death camp researcher, performed the most ghoulish imaginable experiments that resulted in horrific disfigurement, psychological terror, and lingering death to those human subjects unfortunate enough to land in his labs. It would be easy to attack the comparison as too severe, too critical of a scientist who only wished to better understand the levers of control of the human mind, and the limits of the altered states they might induce. But we know all to well the weakness of the human mind wherein perception is reality. And Facebook seeks to prove, and in fact does prove, that they can alter that reality by mere words.

Facebook will almost certainly find, as the now reviled regime of the Nazis did, that judgment may come quickly. Pam Marten provides critical context, and substantial insight, in her recent article in Wall Street On Parade as she paints a picture of the dearth of good sense that leads us to this point. Moreover, she further suggests some real world precursors from no less an evil empire than the CIA.

Read Pam’s article at:


James Strawn About James Strawn

James is an IT consultant and solutions architect with decades of experience working on various major projects with Fortune 500 companies. He is also an author and editor for, a blog forum for politically active citizens and professionals.

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