LinkedIn ran social experiments for 5 years

LinkedIn ran social experiments for 5 years

The work analyzes “the influence of weak associations”, a social scientific theory that highlights the importance of weak associations -such as acquaintances versus close friendships- in influencing the transmission of information through social networks.

Experiments showed that weak ties increase work streams, but only up to a certain point, after which there are diminishing marginal returns to weak ties.

The authors show that the weakest ties, that is, known ties, had the greatest impact on labor mobility, while the strongest ties had the least.

In summary, the research suggests that there are more chances of getting better job opportunities through an acquaintance (weak bond), than through those closest to you.

question data usage

Although LinkedIn maintains that the research improves labor mobility on the platform, it has also been questioned for not informing its users about the experiment, since in addition to the use of data, it has been questioned whether some users lost opportunities over others who benefited more due to thereto.

“The findings suggest that some users had better access to job opportunities or a significant difference in access to job opportunities,” said Michael Zimmer, associate professor of computer science and director of the Center for Data, Ethics and Society at the University of Marquette.

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Written by Editor TLN

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