‘Manipulated Facebook Feed’ May Have Influenced Shooting, Claims Pistorius Defense


THE beleaguered defence team for Oscar Pistorius have alleged today that he was influenced by a group of negative posts on his Facebook feed, as part of an experiment carried out by the social networking giant.

The claims come as the Pistorius trial resumes following a month long break, during which the athlete known as “Blade Runner” was tested by psychiatrists to see if he was mentally capable of the shooting.

Deemed to be of sound mental health, Pistorius faces a fresh grilling about the night his supermodel girlfriend was fatally shot through the bathroom door. Running out of options, the defence team for the gold medalist will today focus on his Facebook activity in the months leading up that fateful night in Pretoria.

“Mr. Pistorius was in a very negative place that night, which lead to him acting in such an extreme manner,” said Pieter Vorstedt, spokesperson for the defence team.

“And now it comes to light that Facebook were conducting experiments in which they manipulated newsfeeds to peoples pages to see if they could alter their moods. We put it to the prosecution that our client was a victim of such social media manipulation, and it was this that turned him from a highly-strung athlete with a love for guns and shooting into a man who shoots people into the middle of the night”.

The risky argument will be made today, one day after Facebook published details of a social media experiment in which 689,000 users had their emotions influenced by allowing either positive or negative posts to appear on their walls.

The study, conducted by the multi-billion dollar corporation to learn better ways to sell you shit via banner advertisements, was met with condemnation from the online community, who took to Twitter to complain about Facebook.

“This is just another example of a business trying to up their profits!” tweeted one user, irate that she may have had more negative posts about Mondays than positive posts about sandwiches displayed on her newsfeed.

“How dare the operators of this free-to-use, non-mandatory website change the way I use their product from one day to the next? #FUCKZUCK,” said another.

The experiment, which is probably perfectly legal and outlined in Facebook’s Terms and Conditions that no one reads, will today be brought up when the Pistorius trial resumes. If proven to have had an effect on him, it will mark the first time anything that happened on a social media website had any effect on the real world.