CNET: Teens have figured out how to mess with Instagram’s tracking algorithm

CNET: Teens have figured out how to mess with Instagram’s tracking algorithm. “Like about a billion other people, 17-year-old Samantha Mosley spent her Saturday afternoon perusing Instagram….But unlike many of Instagram’s users, Mosley and her high school friends in Maryland had figured out a way to fool tracking by the Facebook-owned social network. On the first visit, her Explore tab showed images of Kobe Bryant. Then on a refresh, cooking guides, and after another refresh, animals.”

Search Engine Land: Senate bill seeks to compel tech giants to offer ‘unfiltered’ versions of their content

Search Engine Land: Senate bill seeks to compel tech giants to offer ‘unfiltered’ versions of their content. “There’s a new bill circulating in the Senate that would require large internet companies to disclose that their results are using ‘opaque algorithms’ and offer consumers an option to see non-personalized search results or content, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported. It’s called ‘The Filter Bubble Transparency Act.'”

TechCrunch: Facebook isn’t free speech, it’s algorithmic amplification optimized for outrage

TechCrunch: Facebook isn’t free speech, it’s algorithmic amplification optimized for outrage. “The problem is that Facebook doesn’t offer free speech; it offers free amplification. No one would much care about anything you posted to Facebook, no matter how false or hateful, if people had to navigate to your particular page to read your rantings, as in the very early days of the site. But what people actually read on Facebook is what’s in their News Feed … and its contents, in turn, are determined not by giving everyone an equal voice, and not by a strict chronological timeline.”

Boing Boing: A plugin to force Twitter to respect your settings and stop showing you “top” tweets

Boing Boing, with a couple bad words, which I am censoring because I’d like this to actually get to your inbox: A plugin to force Twitter to respect your settings and stop showing you “top” tweets. “Twitter has a setting that (nominally) allows you to turn off its default of showing you ‘top’ tweets (as selected by its engagement-maximizing, conflict-seeking algorithm), but periodically, Twitter just ignores that setting…”

Nieman Journalism Lab: Should Facebook have a “quiet period” of no algorithm changes before a major election?

Nieman Journalism Lab: Should Facebook have a “quiet period” of no algorithm changes before a major election?. “Several Facebook News Feed updates leading up to the 2016 U.S. election disadvantaged traditional news sources and favored less reliable information shared by your uncle. Should regulation keep the playing field static?”

Lifehacker: How To Outsmart Algorithms And Take Control Of Your Information Diet

Lifehacker: How To Outsmart Algorithms And Take Control Of Your Information Diet. This is like a roundup of other useful Lifehacker articles, but it’s still good. “‘Certain algorithms,’ says Tim Cook, ‘pull you toward the things you already know, believe or like, and they push away everything else. Push back.’ In a commencement speech to Tulane University, the Apple CEO tells graduates to take charge of their information diet. And much as we want to sneer at the irony of a phone maker telling us to beware of algorithms, we have to admit that Apple’s Screen Time app is one good tool for improving your tech habits. Here are the best posts we’ve already written on pushing back against the algorithms.”

TechCrunch: New Facebook tool answers the question ‘Why am I seeing this post?’

TechCrunch: New Facebook tool answers the question ‘Why am I seeing this post?’. “Facebook announced today that it is adding to News Feeds a feature called “Why am I seeing this post?” Similar to ‘Why am I seeing this ad?,’ which has appeared next to advertisements since 2014, the new tool has a drop-down menu that gives users information about why that post appeared in their News Feed, along with links to personalization controls.”

CNN: How Twitter’s algorithm is amplifying extreme political rhetoric

CNN: How Twitter’s algorithm is amplifying extreme political rhetoric. “Imagine opening up the Twitter app on your phone and scrolling through your feed. Suddenly, you come across a hyper-partisan tweet calling Hillary Clinton the ‘godmother of ISIS.’ It’s from a user you do not follow, and it’s not in your feed by virtue of a retweet from a user you do follow. So how did it get there?”

Nieman Lab: One year in, Facebook’s big algorithm change has spurred an angry, Fox News-dominated — and very engaged! — News Feed

Nieman Lab: One year in, Facebook’s big algorithm change has spurred an angry, Fox News-dominated — and very engaged! — News Feed. “It’s been a little over a year since Facebook announced major algorithm changes that would decrease the amount of news in News Feed, instead prioritizing non-publisher content that spurs engagement and provokes comments. Fourteen or so months in, what does the news environment on Facebook look like?”

Naked Security: Warn your friends they can’t bypass Facebook with this hoax

Naked Security: Warn your friends they can’t bypass Facebook with this hoax. “Sorry to say, but 2019 has not ushered in new ‘tips to bypass FB’ as it supposedly limits posts on your news feed. Nor has Facebook ushered in a new algorithm that ‘chooses the same few people – about 25 – who will read your posts’, at least not that we’ve heard.”

Nieman Lab: Major internet companies might want to push their own point of view, but can they also take care of misinformation please and thank you

Nieman Lab: Major internet companies might want to push their own point of view, but can they also take care of misinformation please and thank you. “According to a new survey by the Knight Foundation and Gallup, American adults feel negatively about major Internet companies tailoring information to them individually, acting as content arbitrators that enhances bias, and not being transparent about their methods. (Note: Knight has provided support to Nieman Lab in the past.) Those major internet companies in this context are Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter (surprise).”