More than a million people elected to allow Facebook to modify their profile pictures in honor of a Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

However, according to MIT network scientist Cesar Hidalg, the popular profile picture change has little to do with Facebook supporting gay rights.

“This is probably a Facebook experiment!” Hidalg said on his Facebook page earlier this week. “The question is, how long will it take for people to change their profile pictures back to normal.”

Although corporate media reports dismiss Hidalg’s remarks as a joke, the fact remains Facebook has conducted a number of psychological operations on their users, including experiments to gauge the ability of social networks to operate as a massive-scale emotional contagion.

“Facebook conducted a massive psychological experiment on 689,003 users, manipulating their news feeds to assess the effects on their emotions,” Forbes reported last June.

“Facebook has the ability to make you feel good or bad, just by tweaking what shows up in your news feed.”

Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, apologized for the earlier psychological operation.

“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated,” said Sandberg while in New Delhi. “And for that communication we apologize. We never meant to upset you.”

Facebook: Funded by the CIA

As Sandeep Parwaga and others have noted, there is more to Facebook than meets the eye.

Rarely mentioned in all the hoopla praising the technological wonder of the Facebook network is the fact the company received start-up funding from the CIA.

“Facebook’s first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome ‘The Diversity Myth’, he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC,” writes Matt Greenop.

The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company’s key areas of expertise are in “data mining technologies”.

Facebook, Google, Apple Work with NSA, CIA

Earlier this year reported that an attorney for the European Commission, Bernhard Schima, told the Court of Justice of the European Union that a framework put into place to protect privacy on the internet in fact allowed the NSA and its British partner, the Government Communications Headquarters, to hijack data via under sea cable networks.

“You might consider closing your Facebook account if you have one,” Schima told attorney-general Yves Bot at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Edward Snowden had earlier revealed that the NSA’s notorious PRISM program had provided access to a number of US tech companies and social media services, including Facebook.

Facebook, Apple and Google have argued they had no idea the NSA was illegally vacuuming up customer data.

Last year, however, Rajesh De, the NSA’s general counsel, said the companies knew about the practice.

In 2009, Mark Zuckerberg told the world Facebook is in essence a platform for harvesting data and conducting surveillance.

“People have really gotten comfortable sharing more information and different kinds,” he told an audience at the 2009 Crunchies Awards ceremonies in San Francisco. Zuckerberg said “sharing” data — that is, surrendering private data to the government and corporations — has become the “social norm.”

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