Bingo! The report examined articles shared on Facebook from the New York Times, BuzzFeed, Fox News and a dozen other media outlets and found that the more negative-slanting comments a story drew, the more likely Facebook’s algorithms were to promote it widely. “Outrage gets attention,” surmised the researchers. They ruefully compared the strategy to “feeding users fast food,” an irresistibly effective tactic for hooking an audience that would surely prove harmful down the road. Source: ‘Definitely not the results we…
Over the span of a few days, the SF Chronicle went from a headline emphasizing “Winter Covid surge” to a new title emphasizing “the endgame”, and a new illustration, removing the fear and negativity focus. Sadly, the media always goes for fear and negativity and manages to spin good news into bad. This time they got caught at it.
Years ago I suggested that FB was designed to create a “culture of perpetual outrage”. People who are emotionally engaged are more susceptible to advertising messages – plus, they are likely to stay connected to FB for more minutes. Internal documents reveal that FB not only knew this but gave emotional content posts higher leverage in The Algorithm that decides what you see online.
Facebook sees TikTok-like platforms as having a better strategy. The basic design of TikTok – with short form videos seen via rapid scrolling through video thumbnails (which auto play as you encounter them) – favors attractive, fit, young people versus, say, content that requires a few seconds to think about. TikTok is about eye candy. With this in mind, some think FB will “ditch older users” with a new focus on youth.
A simple research study demonstrated how FB’s algorithm readily amplify extremist political viewpoints on the left and right. The root cause is that FB optimizes for time spent engaged with FB – and does not optimize for what you may wish to see. The result is FB optimizes to keep you perpetually outraged.
The FTC says major ISPs are collecting large amounts of data about their customers, and combining it with web browsing histories and third party data to draw conclusions about their customers.
Facebook settles with the U.S. government over reserving 2,600 jobs for temporary imported H-1B visa workers, excluding all U.S. residents from consideration for those jobs.
Oldest trick in the regulatory book: Once the government starts discussing regulation of social media, Facebook steps up with its own proposals (of course), which, as is typical of much regulation, work to preserve entrenched incumbents while harming competitors and largely stopping new competitors from forming.
Facebook is implementing new tools to divert users away from harmful content, limit political content and give parents more control on teen Instagram accounts. Source: Facebook will add new safety features for teens following whistleblower leak
The news media has labeled any discussion opposing generic cloth facial coverings as motivated by conservatives. In this case, they mislabeled an Open Schools group of mostly progressive Democrats (this is San Francisco where almost no other perspective exists) as “conservative” – because they oppose continuing to force cloth facial coverings on school kids who are fully vaccinated.