These experiments are, hopefully, innocuous. But the conclusions they all reach point to the massive influence Facebook could have if they chose to use it. I’m not a paranoid person, but I am reluctantly a little cynical. As a teacher, the conclusions take on new meaning. I used to teach a media unit where I taught my students ways to “read” media like commercials, ads, even film. But how do I teach them to critically examine something that can’t be seen–the algorithm? The experiments? The manipulations are getting more sophisticated. Any of us could be a victim of this modern manipulation.
*I’m back on Facebook because I starting getting text messages from friends who thought I unfriended them. And, apparently, some other friends sent out a Facebook search party to find me. It’s really hard to quit Facebook. But I have limited my likes, quit 80% of groups, unliked pages I had liked, and basically tried to feed less information into the algorithm.