1. Exquisite Tweets from @zeynep

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Facebook curators were instructed not to let pieces critical of Facebook trend on Facebook? gizmodo.com/former-faceboo…

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Claim: Facebook injected Syria and BLM content. News feed algorithm suppresses non-cheery news, curators inject it?

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Look, Facebook *caring* about the content it promotes is a good thing. I think it should care, and care a lot more.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    My point is NOT it's bad for Facebook to care about content but that 1-Facebook (and Google) concentrate power; 2-Are not open about this.+

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    3-That many will like their current choices is no guarantee of anything; 4-That they censor news about Facebook is indicative about issues;+

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    5-Facebook & Google that have enormous power to shape the public sphere. They should grapple with this but also be open & more accountable.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    On the right, "Former Facebook Workers" start trending on Twitter. Will it trend on Facebook at all? Anyone?

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    This, and with machine learning entering this space very fast, we don't even directly understand much of it anymore. twitter.com/drewconway/sta…

    Drew Conway @
    2/Human curated news is actively biased by humans, while algo curated news in a biased both actively and passively by the same humans

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    The point isn't the past was some unbiased paradise and the future is horrible, but we've entered a new regime with new concentrated powers.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Facebook feed algorithm sold as "what you want" but it structures the experience. FB trending is sold as algorithm but is FB's preferences.🙄

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Meanwhile, Google still defines "algorithm" as computer programs that give you "exactly what you want."

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    I'm teaching an algorithms, big data and ethics class this Fall. I am so not writing the syllabus till August. Stuff comes out every week.😏

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    BTW I *do* wish there were a better term than algorithm to mean "complex and opaque computation of consequence". Language does what it does.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    FB: "Trust us." Ok. Define "hoax", "sufficient source", "coherent", "effective" & "neutral". facebook.com/tstocky/posts/…

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    For such decisions "we show you what's most interesting to you", there's no right answer, hence no escaping values—editorial or computation.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Algorithms for, say, flying a plane, are different than algos to make a subjective decision. It's "no one right answer" all the way down.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    You see it in the Facebook VP's answer: they want to retreat to "we're neutral and effective." Doesn't work too well in human affairs.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    I don't mean "neutral" and "effective" don't work for Facebook. It doesn't work for human affairs. Welcome to your business model, Facebook.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    I am not saying why isn't Facebook neutral, surfacing non-hoax news only from sufficient sources. I'm saying that will always be contested.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Here's a great @TarletonG post on taking Facebook's role in the news and public sphere seriously. socialmediacollective.org/2016/05/09/fac…

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Hmm. People can focus on "trending"—though it means little on Facebook—but not on the powerful newsfeed algorithm. twitter.com/CNBCnow/status…

    CNBC Now @
    JUST IN: Senate Commerce Commtitte chair sends letter to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg seeking answers on alleged manipulation of trending news

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Easier to worry about "Facebook editors selected this"—it has a journalism analogy— but harder to think about complex computational filters.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Look, every journalist and editor and NGO and activist out there is thinking HOW DO I MATCH MY STUFF TO FACEBOOK'S ALGORITHM? Trending? Meh.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Another editorial decision by a giant platform. It's a good decision but an editorial one. Shows Google's power. twitter.com/JedBracy/statu…

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Seems Facebook stopped making trending topics purely algorithmic after criticisms about lack of Ferguson coverage. theguardian.com/technology/201…

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    My piece on Facebook's algorithm vs. Ferguson protest coverage. medium.com/message/fergus… The peer reviewed version: ctlj.colorado.edu/wp-content/upl…

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    I don't think Facebook bringing editorial or quality control into the mix is a bad thing. I DO think it's a hard problem, esp. given scale.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    I do think the FB algorithm has a huge shaping power with a lot of effects—some intended, some not, some unforeseen, some from $$$ motives.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    My criticism is this: Facebook is now among the world's most important gatekeepers, and it has to own that role. It's not an afterthought.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    That Facebook mediates interactions within our social networks & flow of news is why it's such a huge, profitable company. That's its core.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    What makes Facebook successful is that gatekeeping role. I'm sure many Facebook engineers are super brilliant but that's not the core value.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Facebook tries so hard to recruit engineers and to make some blue box just right. But it's core business is in humanities & social sciences.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Facebook cannot escape humanities since it can't escape adopting values, nor social sciences since it judges rank in our social networks.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Look, these are hard questions. The issues Facebook needs to grapple with are what humanity has grappled with for .. millennia. Seriously.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    Worst response is to pretend these issues do not exist. They do. Attention is scarce. Values have consequences and are contested. So on.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    And Facebook is in the middle of it all; maybe affecting more people than any predecessor, and all this in just over a decade.

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci

    I'd like to see more of this discussion, and more realization that the core questions in technology are about values, not pixels. /endfornow

    Reply Retweet Like

    zeynep

    zeynep tufekci