How Facebook can shun a relate chamber

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Facebook might have built an influence so large that it’s enormous underneath a weight of a energy and change of a News Feed.

Mark Zuckerberg began an interview on theatre during Techonomy16 discussing a expansion of a News Feed and Facebook’s impact on a election. Post-election, journalists, politicians, and pundits have questioned Facebook’s purpose in moulding a debate and a outcome, debating a merits of Facebook’s position of supremacy as a source of information.


Zuckerberg shielded a News Feed’s swell arguing that a filter bubble isn’t an emanate for Facebook. He suggested a genuine problem is that people by inlet rivet with calm they like and find agreeable, and dismiss things they don’t determine with online as they would in genuine life.

“You’d be astounded during how many things we dismiss,” he said. “The problem isn’t that a different information isn’t there…but that we haven’t gotten people to rivet with it in aloft proportions.”

What are a collection that could help us shun a relate chamber?

If Facebook won’t change a algorithms for fear of going opposite a extravagantly successful income model or expand its Trending Topics product, it needs to exercise improved features to assistance diversify the calm we see.

  • First, Facebook should hire human reporters to curate stories during elections. They should collect a best stories from a accumulation of sources and perspectives and dwindle them on Facebook as good peculiarity and estimable of reading. Also: Fact checking. Google did it. Now it’s Facebook’s turn. 
  • Since a personalized News Feed favors what we rivet with, and we tend to rivet with calm we determine with, Facebook should yield an choice to spin this off during elections to concede people to see algorithm-free, real-time content.
  • Imagine being means to activate a filter that would uncover we what your Facebook-specified Republican or Democratic or Libertarian etc. friends were sharing.
  • Facebook could emanate a underline that allows people to announce publicity for a candidate, and users could afterwards build a feed to see what that pool of friends was posting about as good as a review around their posts.
  • Facebook could curate and dwindle certain calm as partisan, and those stories could seem with a link to an Instant Article of the opposing outlook or from an hostile news source (however, since not every issue is quite narrow-minded — and not each news source possibly — this could get tricky).
  • Trending Topics should be stretched and should arrangement more takes on domestic stories, not usually what a top series of people are articulate about.
  • Facebook could use the “Suggested Videos” window that pops adult when we watch a video to a execution to aspect hostile viewpoints.
  • Facebook could show a post from a claimant on a hostile side whenever a politician posts from their account.


Facebook is hiding behind its “we’re a tech company, not a media company” guise in an bid to forgive itself from a fact that it hasn’t figured out the news. For such an successful height that preaches amicable responsibility and prioritizes user experience, it’s insane for Facebook to give people such a absolute megaphone for personal expression, usually to close them inside an echo chamber.

Despite what Zuckerberg claims, Facebook profoundly influenced a approach a U.S. consumed a election, usually as it has made a news knowledge either it wants to a not.

I don’t suggest regulating Facebook as a solitary news source. But 44 percent of adults in a U.S. use Facebook as a source for news, a Pew news minute progressing this year. Another investigate found that Facebook saw an boost of roughly 30 percent on choosing night compared to a standard evening.

It’s protected to contend that a plain series of people were banking on Facebook for election updates, live video and as a theatre for their possess amicable commentary.

Is this all a siren dream?

If Facebook customarily showed users things they found sickening or noticed as incorrect, a assembly wouldn’t wish to use it as much. Facebook’s revenue model increase (you know, that cold $7B revenue in Q3) from a plan of creation a 1.79 billion users feel certified (and some-more expected to engage) with a personalized algorithm.

It wants to keep us in a burble of comfort where a views are steady behind to us in a News Feed. So yes, Facebook creates income by algorithmically favoring content that affirms a opinions. Why would it wish to change? And are people even ready for a satisfactory Feed? With a large influence, Facebook might have the ability to change this by charity both sides.

What is Facebook now doing?

Facebook has charity mouth use about violation out of a relate chamber. Its data was used in a Wall Street Journal’s Blue Feed, Red Feed experiment to juxtapose a magnanimous Facebook and regressive Facebook feed sourced from users’ self-proclaimed domestic views and what they shared.

This year, Facebook published an odd video in a muted defence for us to play good this choosing season, charity up its hunt bar as a apparatus to discover new viewpoints (Facebook’s hunt might be the slightest useful function on a platform). Its election Hub was a hands-on beam for information about a choosing directed at helping people learn about candidates, process and list propositions.

It also presumably helped over 2 million people turn purebred voters. But a approach users are interacting with the ‘lean back’ News Feed knowledge is critical too.

Facebook is blank a huge event to use a tech to assistance us see calm by a more bipartisan lens during this politically divided time in U.S. history when it could also potentially change a proclivity to omit a other side. As a association that has always prioritized a user experience, Facebook could be doing most more.