facebook filtering algorithm/ policy causes big commotion (once again)

❗ 😮 hi all. recently facebook was accused/ implicated in steering news items away from conservative sites. every few years, facebook “faces” these types of PR messes and Zuckerberg is probably nearly a pro at handling them by now. there were a lot of press reverberations.

facebook is like the 800LB gorilla of the media. they embody the “winner takes all” aspect of our economy. most other media outlets are having serious troubles, such as old stalwarts like NYT somewhat “on the ropes”. oh yeah and then there was that crazy gawker judgement recently. hoo, boy!

facebook is rewriting the rules of the media game. much the way that tweaks to googles algorithms cause fat/ huge ripples/ shudders in the mass SEO business (and today, nearly every media outlet is in the SEO business to varying degrees), facebooks small adjustments to their site can have massive repercussions.

its interesting in all this how algorithmic theory is intersecting with media concerns like fairness, impartiality, freedom from censorship, openness, etc… is this a story about algorithms or people? its kind of about the intersection of the two. oh, throw in political pov (right vs left). its a volatile mix. throughout the story, people are grappling with a different landscape. a paradigm shift.

facebook would probably prefer to suggest that their system is entirely running on algorithms to help give the semblance of partiality. but sometimes humans filter the output of machines. facebook is being pulled/ thrust into the journalistic milieu with questions of impartiality and fairness, balance etc.

there is not really a simple/ single story here, there are many different stories and angles. it has “the elephant and the blind men” feel to it. aka “in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” maybe that man is Mark Zuckerberg.

so far facebook hasnt figured out a way to share all that media wealth with other media companies. not sure they are even trying. there is a lot of (justifiable!) fear in this business after a history of really tumultuous/ wrenching changes.

the other big story/ probable paradigm-shift-in-progress is that personal sharing/ facebook updates are in decline by individuals and that facebook is becoming more of a media hub. personalized in the sense that it understands user preferences, but maybe less personalized in the sense that people are using it to connect with each other and share personal info/ details. is the massive era of “user generated content” starting to run out of steam? that might appear to be the case from some signs/ signals.

heres a collection of key links collected in the swirl of daily headlines to help get into this complex story.

 

a. facebook
b. etc
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