The Facebook Algorithm Is Watching You

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The Facebook Algorithm Is Watching You

You can tell a lot about a person from how they react
to something.

That’s why Facebook’s various “Like” buttons are so
powerful. Clicking a reaction icon isn’t just a way to register an emotional
response, it’s also a way for Facebook to refine its sense of who you are. So
when you “Love” a photo of a friend’s baby, and click “Angry” on an article
about the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl, you’re training Facebook
to see you a certain way: You are a person who seems to love babies and hate
Tom Brady.

The more you click, the more sophisticated Facebook’s
idea of who you are becomes. (Remember: Although the reaction choices seem
limited now—Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry—up until around this time last
year, there was only a “Like” button.)

This matters because of what Facebook might then do with its sense of your baby-loving,
Tom-Brady-hating self. It might mean that Facebook will show you more photos of
babies and fewer articles about football, which in turn might affect which
friends appear more frequently and prominently in your News Feed. And that
might affect your perception of the world.

Read more about the algorithm at



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