Why I Don’t Like Facebook’s Algorithm
P4 Feb ’14
I would be lying if I said up until the release of Facebook’s new app yesterday, Paper, I was itching to deactivate my Facebook account. I reluctantly and with tied hands have kept it because it has proven to be too valuable. Having access to that audience of people is a tool for staying connected in relationships and nurturing community.
My favorite social media sites by a long shot are Twitter and Instagram. The lack of a filtering algorithm means I get to decide what I do or do not want to read. Facebook opts for an algorithm based on your likes, commenting, friends, pages you visit on their site, and more. In turn, this has led to isolation. No, not from people. And yes, from people – certain people. My feed over the last year has turned into an echo chamber of libertarian, small federal government, christian ideology, top 10 BuzzFeed lists and Upworthy videos (those link titles are a real trap). So my friends who offer opposing views, never end up in my feed, nor I in theirs. I’m sure things slip through the cracks on occasion – but it isn’t the norm. What does this leave us with? A group of users who continually massage each others ideas without ever engaging in opposing views? Now I’m not advocating for an all out Facebook comment section massacre. I loathe those. But people will never have their ideas challenged if theirs are continually built up without even a hint of poor weather.
Now I’m not anti-alogirthm. Amazon has an outstanding algorithm. One that I applaud and have utilized over the years to discover new things based on previous purchases and searches. Even sitting on a page to read the reviews tells the system something, not just a click anymore.