“The Internet’s Problems Can’t Be Solved with an Algorithm”

“The Internet’s Problems Can’t Be Solved with an Algorithm” https://medium.com/s/story/the-day-the-algorithm-died-de0cbe70268e

Despite Facebook’s efforts to make its platform less anonymous than its predecessors, it is painfully clear that people seem to have no problem piling on the hate when tapping away on a keyboard or phone, comfortably distant from the consequences of their words for the real person reading them many fiber-optic cables away. Facebook, along with most of its social media counterparts, operates in part based on the Silicon Valley hypothesis that if all ideas are distributed freely, the most valuable ones will rise to the top. Instead of validating that seemingly uncontroversial point, however, our collective experiences online have proven it wrong. The marketplace of ideas has become an environment with no barriers to transmitting vitriol to millions, largely negating the internet’s egalitarian, utopian goals.The runaway financial success of highly targeted pay-per-view ads has warped software design into a competition to build the most addictive digital slot machine, masquerading as social engagement. The longer we stay hooked, the more advertising we see, and the more eyeballs can be sold for a fraction of a penny apiece. This is why you get an email if you don’t sign in for a few days. This is why your apps throttle your notifications, slowly distributing the likes on your vacation photos over the course of minutes rather than seconds. It’s an elaborate manipulation to keep you coming back for more.The cacophony more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harassment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen.

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