Facebook: Good or Bad News

The AV Club posted this article about Facebook during the 2016 presidential election. Don’t worry, this is not an article about the election – it’s worth a read. It discusses how Facebook allows bad news to flourish on one’s feed. This quote from the article sums it up:

[The] misinformation is reinforced by Facebook’s programmatic sorting of people by political leaning. Once Facebook determines your political beliefs—which it is doing, whether you asked it to or not—it aims to prevent any dissenting information from appearing within your bubble.

The Good

Tailored things are great, and I’m not talking about suits (though those are nice too). When I log onto Facebook, I like to see notices of upcoming movies similar to those I’ve liked on Facebook; I like to be exposed to new artists that are similar sounding to those I’ve posted about. My point, short and sweet, is that a personalized new feed is great.

The Bad

Stop ruining news, Facebook! When a person is spoon-fed his or her bias propaganda, how can he be expected to learn? Fox News can be as biased for conservatives as it wants; MSNBC can be as bias for liberals as it wants. When one goes to their websites or watches their stations, one knows what he is getting. When a company like Facebook – which claims not to be a news company – starts to tamper with the information we get and how we get it, it ruins news!

 

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5 thoughts on “Facebook: Good or Bad News

  1. This goes back to the debate over targeted marketing, which they very clearly are doing. There are definitely pros and cons for each side and is a topic difficult to grapple with.

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  2. Social media is an echo chamber of personal biases. It is incredibly damaging, in my opinion. Too many people do not actively seek out and digest contesting thoughts to their own, one of the many reasons our society is so divided today. The topic of whether or not social media is a good place to receive one’s news is another discussion, but perhaps places like Twitter, Facebook, and their ilk can balance out our individual algorithmic results by throwing in a dissenting story or point of view for every two or three ideologically-curated articles/posts. But again, I think getting news from social media is dangerous to begin with.

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  3. I couldn’t agree more with this blog post! I am always happy to see the things like movies and recreational activities on my feed that are interesting to me, but with this terrible election happening, I have been beyond annoyed with the bias political posts and comments everywhere.

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  4. First of all, I’m glad you said that your article wasn’t about the election because I was about to stop reading.
    Second of all, I do think social media is a major way people stay informed on the news, and if Facebook is trying to provide more relevant news to its user, it totally makes sense. However, I do not agree with only bringing up news that supports the user’s views. That is a major way of how people are uneducated – by only reading what you agree with. I do not like that Facebook does that, especially concerning politics.

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