Since Tuesday’s election, there’s been a lot of finger pointing, and many of those fingers are pointing at Facebook, arguing that their newsfeed algorithms played a major role in spreading misinformation and magnifying polarization.
Some of the articles are thoughtful in their criticism, others thoughtful in their defense of Facebook, while others are full of the very misinformation and polarization that they hope will get them to the top of everyone’s newsfeed.
But all of them seem to me to make a fundamental error in how they are thinking about media in the age of algorithms.
Who wants to understand how a 21st century company tackles the problem of editorial curation?
Here’s one video from Matt Cutts, former head of the Google web spam team. What Google teaches us is that improving the algorithms to deliver better results is a constant battle, because there are always those who are trying to game the system. But they also teach us that the right answer is not to make manual interventions to remove specific results.