I love that the algorithms in social media ensure that I get to see content that I like, so if I click a post that says something along the lines of ‘Worshipping stars is the best thing ever’ I will get more content about worshipping stars. Sadly however, it does mean that I don’t receive any content that says ‘stars are evil’ or ‘scientific facts about stars’. In fact any information that doesn’t correlate to ‘worshipping stars’ will be left off my feed.
So the question then is – How much information am I missing out on?
Well, in this case, all information about stars not related to worshipping. I only get to see the single perspective. The net effect of this is that worshipping is all I know about stars and think that that is all there is to know about them. So if someone comes to me and tells me something I haven’t heard or seen about stars, it would totally shock me because in my world, which is being generated by an algorithm in social media, there isn’t any other information about stars.
Social Media is generating a sociopolitical divide.
In several conversations I’ve had with Remainers regarding Brexit they are often shocked about the information that I give them. In particular regarding the issue of democracy and that there is no democracy in the EU, or that is wasn’t a nationalist movement at all, it was about economic freedom from an bureaucratic monolith that was stifling British innovation and business (I don’t believe that falls into nationalist purview, but its definition seems somewhat flexible these days) and that these two point were what people were voting on. To them, this information simply didn’t exist and they often can’t understand why.
In light of social media engineering one can start to understand that the divisions are becoming deep and this is not being helped by a media that is also being influenced into myopic bias by this social media engineering.
So be warned! During great national debates – take the time to find and like content that varies in opinion so that you can free your mind and make informed choices about what you speak about.