(02/18/17) Clever title, right? Take that Mark Zuckerberg you evil twerp. Based on that last sentence and my title I’m pretty sure that the Facebook algorithm will find a way to bury this post waaaay down people’s timelines.
We’re all doing it. Sometimes we do it in the privacy of our own home. Sometimes we do it in our cars, sometimes we even do it at work. It takes only a few minutes if you’re good at it. We “Facebook”.
‘Facebook’ has become a verb. The grandfather, or maybe I should say Godfather of social media is ubiquitous. (I like using the word ubiquitous because it sounds smart. Not when I say it of course. I sound like an idiot, but if you use it in something you write it’s one of those smart words that make your point seem a little better. Obviously, there aren’t enough smart words to help this blog out). As smart people say, I digress. (look at me go with them there smart word thingies) My point is that Facebook is almost universal. What started out 13 years ago this month as a geeky college student’s way to meet chicks (and I say chicks with the utmost respect for all chicks) has become almost a worldwide registry of humanity. Those of us that are on it think it’s weird when we find people who are not.
Me: Hey, can I find you on Facebook?
Other Person: No. I’m not on Facebook.
Me: Uh, what’s wrong with you? How do you talk to people?
Why am I talking about FB today? Two reasons: 1) Last night when I sat down in my recliner with a glass of wine to start writing today’s Phil Factor, I put in a Google search for “trending topics”. On one particular sites trending topics page was 9 articles about Facebook. If Facebook is the top trending topic how can I ignore it? Apparently Facebook admitted that it’s human editors suppressed articles expressing conservative views in it’s trending news feed. So of course Facebook decided to replace human editors with an algorithm to determine what news we will see on FB. Yes, people replaced by machines, again. Thank God for that. Way too many people are super annoying. I know this because I’m friends with them on Facebook.
Some statistic somewhere says that 98.5% of people get their news from Facebook. Is it good that Facebook has a computer program deciding what news we see? Because Facebook is so universally used, their algorithm has the potential to sway public opinion. Who cares?!!? We know where to get our real, biased news if we want to. We know the liberal news shows and websites and we know the conservative news shows and websites. Get over yourselves everybody. News has been biased since the first cave painting depicting Grog taking out a woolly mammoth with a coconut. (Shocker, the mammoth actually tripped, fell and broke it’s neck. Grog is a liar. Fake news! Sad!)
After reading my last point, I guess Mark Zuckerberg isn’t really an evil twerp. He might be for other reasons, but not because his website controls the news you see. Perspective is like a telescope; you only see what you point it at. Look at a different website, like #ThePhilFactor, if you want a different view. Two paragraphs ago I said I had two reasons to talk about Facebook today. I can’t remember what the other is now. Maybe I’d better go check Facebook to see what I should be talking about.
If you all want to be ironic and vex Facebook’s algorithm you can share this to FB by hitting the share button below. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil