We need no ghost to tell us something smells increasingly rotten in the state of social media.
Facebook forcing users to download a separate messaging app if they want to carry on IMing their friends.
Twitter polluting its users’ carefully curated timelines with content they did not choose to read.
Facebook manipulating the emotional cadence of content to figure out whether it can actively impact users’ emotions.
Twitter flirting with the idea of adding even more algorithmically selected content into the timeline — content that prioritizes what’s already popular, and thus mainstream, at the expense of non-mainstream interests, nuance and minority views.
Meanwhile, studies suggest the majority of Facebook users are unaware that what they see in their newsfeed is not actually the sum total of their friends’ news, but rather an algorithmic skim — biased for clickbait, stickiness and, of course, advertising.
There are a few clear themes to point to here that can illuminate exactly where the rot stems from. The overarching theme being monetization — or, more specifically, increasing external pressure…
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