Complete Story


How Facebook Shapes Your Feed

The evolution on what appears and what gets obscured

Facebook’s news feed algorithm has been blamed for fanning sectarian hatred, steering users toward extremism and conspiracy theories, and incentivizing politicians to take more divisive stands. It’s in the spotlight thanks to waves of revelations from the Facebook Papers and testimony from whistleblower Frances Haugen, who argues it’s at the core of the company’s problems.

But how exactly does it work, and what makes it so influential?

While the phrase “the algorithm” has taken on sinister, even mythical overtones, it is, at its most basic level, a system that decides a post’s position on the news feed based on predictions about each user’s preferences and tendencies. The details of its design determine what sorts of content thrive on the world’s largest social network, and what types languish — which in turn shapes the posts we all create, and the ways we interact on its platform.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Washington Post.

Printer-Friendly Version