This July 2, 2013 file photo shows Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaking during Global Women Leadership Summit in Tokyo.
Facebook's No. 2 executive said on Wednesday that the psychological experiment that affected more than 689,000 users was "poorly communicated."
Speaking before a meeting in India with small advertisers, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, said that it was just one piece of a larger research effort, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was," Sandberg reportedly said. "It was poorly communicated."
"We never meant to upset you," she added.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the comments from Sandberg and added that she directed people to an apology posted to Facebook by Adam Kramer, one of Facebook's researchers that helped conduct the study.
Facebook has been widely criticized for the study, with outside researchers saying that any users who end up being a part of an experiment should be notified in accordance with scientific ethics.
The social network's terms of service inform users that they can be subjects of studies.Forbes pointed out that those terms were changed four months after the study to include that user data may be used for "analysis" and "research."
Tags: Facebook, PRIVACY, PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIAL MEDIA