The Facebook algorithm is changing, and I’m not sure I like it

Mark Zuckerberg posted a couple of weeks ago, that Facebook is changing their news feed algorithm.  He said:

“…we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

He also said:

“We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.”

I have already noticed the changes, and as of right now, I’m not so sure it’s a good thing. Facebook’s market value took a hit after Mark made his January 11 announcement, because businesses who you use Facebook to advertise are worried that their content won’t show up in front of users. But this isn’t a problem I’m wrestling with. My little page has less than 1000 likes at the moment, so it’s not like my page is sending a million unique visitors to my blog.

No, my worry is that I’ll once again be reminded of just how “out there” some of my friends and family are. (The fact they may be saying the same thing about me is not lost on me.)

For example, one of my dear cousins in Texas shared a conservative political meme a few days ago that was just factually incorrect. Anyone with Google and an interest in knowing the truth, could within a few keystrokes, figure this out. And with this new Facebook feed algorithm, all of a sudden, his misinformation was on my feed!

Of course, you know what I did.

In a very nice, respectful, and even humorous way, I commented. In my comment, I pointed out the meme was inaccurate and even cited the credible source by which to validate that.

He marked my comment as spam.

My own first cousin marked my fact-based comment, as spam.

It’s almost as if Mark Zuckerberg expected this type of reaction, because one week later, he posted the second big update coming to Facebook:

“There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them. That’s why it’s important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground.”

Here’s hoping that truth begins to rise again, and that the cousins of the world, learn to value it. And sooner rather than later, before all reasonable people are marked as spam by those who would rather filter for what they believe, than believe what is true.

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