Facebook’s algorithms reward outrage

Facebook’s algorithms reward outrage

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Social media is a giant clickbait platform:

A big 2018 algorithm change was designed to encourage positive interaction with friends and family. Company documents show how it had the opposite effect, rewarding outrage and sensationalism.

Source: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead. – WSJ

It is designed to encourage the culture of perpetual outrage. Posts that make people angry, that encourage divisiveness are more likely to be commented on and shared. This, in turn, leads to even more anger and outrage. In fact, people who post angry posts get more likes, comments and shares!

In effect, social media, such as Facebook, is ripping apart society, one post at a time. Wonderful.

While this is newly reported in the WSJ from secret documents, the basic concept – that Facebook rewards outrage, leading to people becoming angrier, has been known for some time.

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