Two apologies in one week! Crazytown. Fast on the heels of apologizing to the LGBT community and everyone else for their "real-name" policy, Facebook has issued a statement apologizing for that debacle over the secret and highly manipulative study they did on users' emotions. And they're committing to a new (but vague) policy dictating how they will review and approve future research projects that involve user data.

The apology comes just three months late, after it came to light in June that the social network had manipulated the news feeds of 700,000 users in order to gauge their emotional reactions. Academics and armchair ethicists worldwide got extremely worked up about the experiment, which came out via an academic paper by the US National Academy of Sciences. And now Facebook is saying that future studies will "go through an enhanced review process before research can begin."

Per the statement:

We were unprepared for the reaction the paper received when it was published and have taken to heart the comments and criticism. It is clear now that there are things we should have done differently. For example, we should have considered other non-experimental ways to do this research. The research would also have benefited from more extensive review by a wider and more senior group of people. Last, in releasing the study, we failed to communicate clearly why and how we did it... We want to do this research in a way that honors the trust you put in us by using Facebook every day.

As Tech Crunch notes, "Facebook is not changing how it receives consent from users to experiment on them, and it doesn’t mention any external auditors for research."

So, in short, Facebook will still be making everyone consent to being experimented on when they agree to the site's terms of service, and such experiments are going to continue. But they're going to think long and hard before they publish something else that garners so much bad press.