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Social media website trends/algorithms 
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random opinion time

i kinda moved away from facebook, i use it now just to check out what some accquaintances and friends are saying and stuff, but i don't really do much more than check it anymore precisely because they're working so hard to try to determine what content i want to see, rather than just letting me see things in real time (like i hate having a post show up at the top of my timeline and liking/commenting on it only to look kinda like a creep because the post was 3 days old, but the facebook algorithms decreed that it was something i wanted to see. they're even apparently working on a way to filter your notifications too, so that you only see the "best" notifications).

this is partially why I moved to Twitter and Tumblr, because they mostly show real time updates as you go so you don't miss content from people you follow, but both of those are actively working to change that. Tumblr users, especially small-time artists and content creators, have seen their activity numbers (number of likes/shares of their posts, number of daily new followers, etc) cut by up to 90% in many cases, because of Tumblr's new "Best stuff first" feature, which buries unpopular posts down below all of the ones that are getting a lot of attention (which, by the way, to any Tumblr users here, you can turn that off in your dashboard preferences so that you actually get to see content from everyone you follow instead of only the most popular ones)

Twitter's been doing something sort of similar with the "In case you missed it" (which i click "see less often" every time it ever shows up) which shows you anything you haven't seen yet that's gotten a lot of likes and retweets. I understand this one a bit better for the people who follow thousands of other Twitter users, but it still feels like I'm probably missing out on somebody's great art or a funny post just because that post was only retweeted 2 or 3 times as opposed to 100,000 times. Twitter's also gotten annoying with essentially turning the like button into a "possibly retweet, but you'll never know" button, given that a lot of the posts you end up seeing are just something somebody you follow liked, rather than something they actively chose to share with their followers.


...soo, what do y'all think? Do y'all like it when social media sites control what you see, does it make it easier for you to manage your social media time, or are y'all like me? I hope I don't make anybody feel guilty if they do appreciate those features cause if it makes your life easier I'd like to hear about it, it's not my intention to shame anybody for using social media the way its managers and creators intend :p

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Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:24 pm
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It's a double-edged sword, isn't it? Many who use social media regularly don't realize just how many people they follow and just how much content they would need to consume in order to keep up with it all. So it needs to be curated somehow.

However, I'm skeptical that these platforms actually have our best interests in mind. Maybe they are well intentioned. But unfortunately, they are motivated to show us whatever will make us keep using their site more, not necessarily what we want/need to see most.

As an example, if you have a history of responding to contentious political posts, facebook algorithms can easily recognize that, and the next time it has to pick between showing you a politically charged rant it knows you will disagree with, and a positive and uplifting story that would actually make your day better, which one is it going to choose? Whichever one is going to cause you to spend more time on the site. Which, sadly, often means the posts that are most likely to spark an argument that keeps people coming back again and again and again to try and get the last word in.

Facebook does provide the option to show things order, rather than letting their algorithm choose what you see, but you can't keep it turned on. You have to switch it back every time. So much for showing you what you want to see. They're really showing you what they want you to see. Which should be worrisome. After all, who makes sure they're treating everyone fairly, and not favoring one person's voice over another?

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Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:01 pm
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On the other side of the coin, one thing that turned me off Tumblr is it shows you everything. When I followed all my friends they would share each other's stuff and I'd see the same post over and over and over again.

I definitely see a good middle ground in there somewhere.

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Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:10 pm
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