All Hail The Algorithm

David J McGee, Metafilter, Feb 12, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The think that made Twitter the most democratic of the social media platforms was that it didn't pick winners. You read what you were subscribed to, in the order it was sent. No more. Now (as an opt-in feature, at least) users can choose an algorithm to show their 'best' results. As one commentator says, "This would be fine I was able to trust the algorithm, which as Facebook has shown, one cannot. We are not as good at this software stuff as we think we are." Not just that. Once there's an algorithm, there's somebody willing to pay money to skew the algorithm. This is how services like Twitter generate income. Not surprisingly the magazines and newspapers are in favour. They will be the ones to benefit most from the algorithm. Image: Larry Kim.

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