Friday, November 18, 2016

Facebook for News. A Rant

A Little Rant

Do you go to Facebook for news? One of the big stories that keeps clogging my email feeds is the controversy that Facebook is now engulfed in regarding fake news that influenced this years election. Never mind the whole "Silicon Valley is Anti-Trump" line that would actually imply that they would have used their influence to push the election in the other direction if that's what they intended to do.

Here's the thing, why would you go to Facebook for news? I understand that the sharing of links can be helpful. I also understand that trending topics can help keep people informed of what others are saying and doing, but c'mon, man! Facebook for news?

I don't even trust that my friend's photos aren't doctored/filtered/posed to high heavens. Why would you trust Facebook friends for news during an election when so many emotions run high and everyone is divided into one of two camps. (Although you could argue for four camps: 1) For Him, 2) For Her, 3) Against Him, 4) Against Her) Everybody is pushing some agenda.

Curated Content

Is Facebook to blame? We are more likely to blame. Remember that Facebook is a business. While I don't understand everything about how it works, I know that they sell advertisements curated to your interests.

Their algorithm is not something I claim to know, but I do know that I get ads based on my posts, my searches and my friend's activity--particularly friends I interact with a lot. It makes sense that my news feed reflects the views of my peeps.

I repeat, Facebook is a social network, not a non-partisan news outlet. People share what they want and it's up to users to determine whether this content is legitimate or not. I, for one, do not want Facebook to determine what news links should or should not be shared.

More importantly, people need to be aware of who is curating the content for them and whether or not their friends are giving them a balanced view of the world. The best article I have read regarding this election was posted on Facebook by a friend. The article described the phenomenon of living in a social media echo-chamber. That's a real problem. When your echo chamber is limited to your own views, it does not reflect the world at large.

Read this: Dear Democrats, Read This If You Do Not Understand Why Trump Won and be educated.
Good day.
Rant over.
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