Facebook’s new algorithm seeks to provide users with more relevant news feed items based on what they’ve stopped to read, but that’s not what Nathan Dee’s looking for…he just wants to FB stalk his enemies (and let’s face it, so do you).
Zuckerberg’s Social Networkopaths have struck again. They excitedly released details on how they’ve yet again tweaked the Facebook News Feed Algorithm, which was already designed to show posts directly related to what you may have liked or commented on, but with these new changes, it now favours those you may have just simply read or looked at.
In a blog post, Facebook has stated: “Just because someone didn’t like, comment or share a story in their News Feed doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful to them”
Fair call, but one thing really grinds my gears about this whole new idea of trying to give people what they think they want. What if they don’t want to see it?
It’s a very simple question.
What’s to become of the traditional Facebook stalk?
While it’s not their fault our relationship failed, their removal of sweet, risk-free deniability cheats us out of an important part of the healing process. We’ve all been there, 4am, at your weakest, the innocent drunken update on your ex-lover. Just to reassure your own raging doubts that it’s done. You reassure your reassurance. You’re sure now. You’ve moved on. Bam!
Both of them. Them and their new You.
What about the people who use Facebook as a tool to combat something extremely personal, like a mental illness or an addiction?
Let’s get hypothetical for a second. Say you’ve been battling a crippling drug addiction. You’re feeling low, feeling alone, then suddenly you come across some posts by some folk who have managed to crush said addiction. You read on. And on. You’ve not liked a single post, commented or shared, you’ve ONLY read what they’ve had to say. Then the day comes where you finally get the strength to take your first steps to recovery, through this group of people with whom you’ve never interacted at all. You’re doing well. Life is getting better.
Then Facebook stares right back at you, with an article about one of those stupid fucking VICE documentaries concerning some hipster venturing into the poppy fields of Prague with a gang of junkies in order to shoot the purest smack at the height of the season.
Hey! Thanks for the relapse, Facebook algorithm!
I’m also reminded of that poor bloke whose “Year In Review” featured a picture of himself and his recently deceased daughter, which, horrible an example as it may be, just goes to show that an algorithm, no matter how well refined or thought out, is always gonna fuck some poor bastard over.
I can see the sentiment behind the whole thing from Facebook’s perspective. They want to give their users the best experience they can while they’re avoiding real human interactions, but I subscribe to the “seek and you shall find” mindset. I’ve often enjoyed coming across something of which I’ve never heard in my feed. Like the magnificent arrest of Paul Charles Dozsa:
Brilliant! See, That’s one of the joys of living in this day and age. The world is now our oyster. We can, at fingertip length, discover the most out there, amazing, unbelievable shit in the universe.
Personally, I think this algorithm will only narrow one’s chances to discover these wonderful little tidbits, which is what the internet was originally intended for, wasn’t it? Mark? It’s things like this which does not allow humans be the inquisitive creatures that we naturally are, for better or worse.
I hope you discover my words, and the wedding photos of a girl you’ve loved for years, at an inopportune time.
Then you will know our pain.