Algorithms that Drive Social Media Content

The content that one sees on their preferred social media is specially tailored to their likes and dislikes, which was the goal that data scientists had when creating algorithms. These algorithms filter through millions of posts and show the user things that they would enjoy according to their algorithm. Social media runs off algorithms and that is how many creators profit, by tailoring their content to what they believe the algorithm will show the most users. Like many algorithms, this one also has its’ faults and flaws. The algorithms for social media content, many have noticed, is quite biased and it shows users content based on gender, race, sexual orientation, where they live, etc. In 2020, a trend and movement was started called “#FuckTheAlgorithm”, to show the skewed content that is biased based on the user’s personal information, such as the latter. This issue was brought to life when a school was planning to use an algorithm to grade tests, this resulted in a negative uproar from students and teachers, thus reigniting the hashtag “FuckTheAlgorithm”. Another issue with algorithms and social media is some content gets blocked by platforms because the algorithm believes the content is unsafe to have on its’ pages. This occurred with the instance with the school, where the hashtag was already in use, but was blocked by twitter, until it was repurposed and trending. Many users have noticed that because they are part of a minority their content is not shown to certain demographics, and they feel as though they are being discriminated against through the algorithm. Algorithms are used on every social media and they drive what content becomes popular and what certain users see.

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