The algorithm did it

Facebook
RedBlack

Facebook

BIO
that would be telling
RedBlackmore
Dec 10, 2018 15 Comments

“Due to the way algorithm changes made earlier this year interacted with the fierce devotion in France to local and regional identity, the country is now facing some of the worst riots in many years — and in Paris, the worst in half a century.”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/france-paris-yellow-jackets-facebook

Seeing many variations of this “Facebook tweaked its algorithm” and horrific thing X,Y,Z happened...

Much of the reporting seems pretty vague about actual causality and for the general public, “Facebook algorithms” seem to be viewed more like voodoo than computer science.

But, if we can get past the knee jerk reaction of the-media-hates-Facebook, what actually happened here?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 15 Comments
  • Facebook 한국
    The French have always had lots of protests. Facebook is being used as a scapegoat for all the ills of the evil when it is giving people the tools to organize themselves.
    Dec 10, 2018 4
    • Lyft Emmt81
      That's like saying the person who poured gasoline on a fire doesn't bear any responsibility.

      You didn't start the fire, you just made it way worse.
      Dec 10, 2018
    • Facebook 한국
      That’s an inaccurate analogy. It’d be more like blaming the gasoline instead of blaming the person
      Dec 10, 2018
    • VMware BobbleHat
      Without the gas cans they couldn’t carry gas to the fire, so obviously it is the gas can’s fault.
      Dec 10, 2018
    • Google sunnyvale8
      It's like blaming the nra for Mass shootings. Actually they do deserve the blame
      Dec 12, 2018
  • Salesforce / Eng boohoohooh
    Coming from the same people who praised Twitter for Arabic Spring.
    Funny how their tone changes the moment they start eating own shit.
    Dec 10, 2018 1
  • Dropbox drl/food
    They're blaming Russian too. 😂
    Dec 10, 2018 0
  • Dropbox drl/food
    Nothing to do at all with their governments globalist agenda at all.
    Dec 10, 2018 0
  • Airbnb f4d
    France has ridiculously high taxes (much higher than CA) and high cost of living largely due to government policy.

    Gas costs ~$7/gallon in France, most of which is taxes. The wealthy tend to live in the city so they are not affected, only the poorer people in smaller communities outside the city have to pay when commuting. That is why those people are rioting over a bigger increase.

    Facebook, Russians, etc may be involved but they are just the spark, this was inevitable because the government policies are insane.
    Dec 10, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng DynamoDB
    When people don't understand tech, they blame anything that's super general. "Algorithms", "software", "system", etc
    Dec 10, 2018 0
  • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
    How many more deaths must occur due to Facebook before we shut that company down and charge Zuckerberg with crimes against humanity?
    Dec 10, 2018 1
  • Verizon I’mNotSure
    I thought it was pronounced Algore?
    Dec 10, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng FreeBees
    Well the writer does try to explain (see excerpt below) but Facebook just helped people share and see the problems with government policies. Why shoot the messenger?

    “These pages weren’t exploding in popularity by coincidence. The same month that Nogueira set up his first group, Mark Zuckerberg announced two algorithm changes to Facebook’s News Feed that would “prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local.” The updates were meant to combat sensationalism, misinformation, and political polarization by emphasizing local networks over publisher pages. One change upranks news from local publishers only. Another change made the same month prioritizes posts from friends and family, hoping to inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments of posts.”
    Dec 10, 2018 0