Last week, national experts traveled to Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, to convey hotly anticipated knowledge to the social network's engineers. The computer programmers "listened intently," according to a reporter who was present, to explanations of compassion, tact, sensitivity, and the psychological differences between children and adults. So it was that, nearly eight years after the world's biggest social network began, Facebook learned some basic social skills.
Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and from Stanford University explained how compassionate acts deliver to those completing them "physiological boosts from feel-good neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and dopamine," said the Contra Costa Times, how finding the right words is crucial when admonishing friends, and how kids are more rash when saying things than adults. Facebook's droids lapped it up! Engineers subsequently deployed pre-written messages users can send to friends who post offensive photos and are considering speed bumps to slow down comments from underaged users. Who would have guessed these human users could be dealt with rationally?
It would have been nice if Facebook had improved its famously crude, hard to understand, and frequently fumbled features several years ago, maybe before the social network had issued its millionth apology or added its 500 millionth user or been subject to federal investigation. But better late than never. Maybe some perspiration experts could visit next?
[Image via AP]