#RANT: Why the Facebook Algorithm is a JERK!

Why Facebook is a jerk!I needed to sit on this a few days because I’m very upset with how the new Facebook algorithm affects the newsfeed.  I know, I know.  I can’t build a new Facebook; I’m no Mark Zuckerberg, but the developers who write the algorithms are heartless punks.  I think that part we can loudly complain about and change.

Let me explain.

Last week (July 10) there was a story about a young man in Fort Wayne, IN who was traveling down Coldwater Road on a motorcycle without his helmet (we have a no helmet law in Indiana).  He dropped his bike, it propelled him 50 feet and caused blunt force trauma to his head.  He later died that same day.  Tragic – he was just 23 years old.

I woke up on Friday (July 11) and because of the insensitive way the Facebook algorithm affects the newsfeed, I see this article in my newsfeed at 6:27am.  I knew this man had died.  Really – you’re showing up 24 HOURS LATER in the newsfeed?  The only thing I could wonder was, “How will his family and friends feel when this article shows up in their newsfeed saying the man is in ‘critical’ condition, but they know he died that night?”  What bastards, right?  It really ticked me off.

In the financial services community, we have to think about these things when we publish articles for circulation.  We think we are putting information out on a mostly degrading platform (meaning the older information filters down much like the newest gallon of milk is added to the back of the refrigerator case) but that’s simply not the case when you have algorithms that supersede your intention with the material you share.  That’s pretty slimy of Facebook!

Awareness and voice.  This data-munching conglomerate is gobbling up every piece of information about us.  This part is true and although doesn’t scare the bejeezers out of me, the least Facebook can do is build a consideration aspect to their algorithm.  Stories like this young man should not be filtered to the top of a newsfeed.  It also makes us think about the material we share.  It may not be showing up at the intended hour of posting as we hoped.  Vigil awareness and a very loud voice about our concerns are necessary.

#RANT over.

Have a bigger, better and more BIONIC day!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite

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