Algorithm Only Slightly Affects the News You Can See on Your Timeline

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Algorithm Only Slightly Affects the News You Can See on Your Timeline

Facebook said that it does not sort out your newsfeed that much. The social media site conducted a study with its most political users (about 10 million political Facebook users). Their study found out that while it is true that Facebook’s algorithm impacts what kinds of news you see in your timeline, it is still you who limit what news and how much news and how much opinion you take in from those who have a different political viewpoint from yours.

For the purpose of exploring how users consume news shared by their Facebook friends who have different ideological viewpoint, researchers provided millions of URLs shared by the social media site’s users from the United States who identify themselves on their Facebook profiles as a part of the conservative team or the liberal team.

According to Eytan Bakshy, who is a research scientist on the data science team of Facebook, the algorithm of Facebook news feed only has a slight effect on the exposure of the user to the news and opinions shared by other users who have opposing opinion.

He also added that the stronger effect comes from the user’s personal choice – both on what kind of news they select and who they accept on their friend’s list. Therefore, it is still you who has a great impact when it comes to the news you are seeing on your timeline.

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