The media (news, movies, music) I consume today is highly individualized and normally watched through a personal device such as my iPhone. All of which is suggested to me through the use of computer algorithms. This means that the internet available to me is pre-determined by a previous online choice and/or a choice of an online ‘friend’. My current social media feed is oversubscribed with posts about Silicon Vally tech, diversity in tech, social justice, and black pop culture, all worthwhile, but still a limited view of the world. While my partner’s social media feed contains Danish politics, and very rarely the mention of black pop culture.
An example — when Beyonce released her ‘Lemonade’ album, my social media feeds were filled with mentions, lyrics, and memes referencing the new album. I said to my partner, ‘Wow, the whole world is talking about this album.’ His response, ‘Only your world.’ And he was partially right.
Our online world is architected by algorithms that mostly reinforce our offline world or assumed offline world, by design. Both a feature and flaw, to affirm and confirm our choices and limited perspectives.
One thought on “Rebelling Against Algorithms”
One of my favorite bon mots recently was someone who said “People don’t miss Google Reader. People miss the ability to self curate content from the sources of their choice, instead of being held hostage to algorithms managed by advertisers.”