How do social media algorithms influence your view of the world?

Basically, these algorithms are designed to keep you on a given social app for as long as possible. They do this by learning what you like and showing you more of that content. They consider a lot of things when deciding what to show you. For example, they collect data on what we watch, click, like, comment, share, buy, where we live, etc. They also take into account what everyone likes and watches too. But exactly what and how all of these things are categorized to give you the content that appears in your feed is top secret. Additionally, companies are constantly tweaking and changing their algorithms.

Why do social apps use recommendation algorithms?

There’s tons of content out there, so the recommendation algorithms sift through that content and show us what they think is the most relevant content for us. Ultimately, social apps and YouTube want to keep you on the platform for as long as possible so they can show you more ads and make more money – and they do that by showing you things that , according to them, will keep you on the app the longest.

What is dangerous in recommendation algorithms?

Recommendation algorithms can trap users in echo chambers or filter bubbles, where you are offered content that only reinforces what you already believe. This is especially true when it comes to news and politics – and has been cited as a reason for heightened political polarization in America. These recommendation algorithms can also spread misinformation, misinformation, and propaganda. Emotionally charged content tends to go viral because many users interact with it – and sometimes that means these algorithms are spreading misinformation, misinformation and propaganda. There are also reports that users can be sucked into rabbit holes of radicalization as algorithms come up with more and more extreme content.


Facebook Algorithms Powered…. (The conversation)

The social media echo chamber is real (Ars Technica)

Algorithms in social media platforms (Internet Justice Society)

fuel the fire (NYU/ Stern)

How TikTok reads your mind (NY Times)

Page For You: TikTok and Identity (Debate on Networks and Communities Conference IX)

Sharon D. Cole