Reports show that the Facebook algorithm formula prioritizes users who use the “angry” reaction.
In 2017, Facebook changed the way “likes” worked by giving users the option of reacting with the traditional “like”, along with “angry”, “sad”, “haha”, “love”, and “wow.” The Washington Post obtained documents that show that the tech company used user’s reactions to promote certain posts.
With the introduction of the new reactions came a new algorithm. The idea behind the new formula was that posts that garnered more reactions kept scrollers more invested and more invested users are what keep Facebook in business. Leaked documents show that a Facebook researcher, whose name was redacted, brought up a concern that proved to be true: promoting posts that received reactions, like anger, were often controversial, and this could lead to more spam, clickbait, abuse, and the like. The only response this observation received was, “It’s possible”.
The whistleblower documents showed that even within the company, the new algorithm was controversial (The Hill). Sometimes, employees would bring up concerns about it and executives would listen and take their thoughts into consideration. Other times, concerns were ignored. In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at one point encouraging users to react with the “angry” button when they saw posts they didn’t like; however, the explanation behind that advice was unknown- until now.
Data scientists from Facebook confirmed that the algorithm had in fact opened the door to more spam, abuse, and clickbait. Because people would react angrily to posts that included misinformation, posts with misinformation continued to be promoted. This created more work for Facebook, though, as content moderators and the integrity team had more posts to sort through “toxic content”.
In addition, as the Post states, “Facebook for three years systematically amped up some of the worst of its platform, making it more prominent in users’ feeds and spreading it to a much wider audience.” But, as the whistleblower, Frances Haugen said, “Anger and hate is the easiest way to grow on Facebook.”
- Christianity Today
- Constitution 101
- Creation Corner
- Entertainment Today
- First Amendment
- Foundation of our Nation
- Guest Columns
- Human Interest
- Ignite the Pulpit
- Let's Talk
- Money matters
- Racial Issues
- Tea Party
- Trump elevator pitch
- World news
Constitution3 days ago
Executive powers – a split decision
Accountability4 days ago
More companies covering travel costs for employees seeking an abortion
Accountability5 days ago
AG Garland says states can’t ban FDA-approved abortion pills
News3 days ago
Abortions can continue in Texas after Judge temporarily blocks pre-Roe ban
Accountability3 days ago
Military to continue providing abortions after Roe reversal
Constitution4 days ago
Executive powers and their limits
Legislative20 hours ago
Rep. Lauren Boebert in worship service speech: ‘Church is supposed to direct government’
Accountability2 days ago
Supreme Court rules President Biden can end Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy