Social media algorithms are front and center during the latest Senate Judiciary Hearing. The algorithms for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. “Nearly all social media platforms — including the three companies represented at Tuesday’s hearing — use algorithms to curate what their users see and when they see it… These algorithms impact what billions of people read, watch and think every single day, and it’s critical that Congress and the American public understand how they work and how we can curb the amplification of misinformation and political polarization,” Senator Chris Coons.

So what? 

Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have so much power, too much power. The algorithms should be taken into consideration and looked at from under the microscope. Of course, Twitter tries to justify its algorithm usage. “Lauren Culbertson, Twitter’s head of US public policy, will emphasize to the Senate committee that algorithms are not all bad. “We use technology every day in our efforts to automatically improve outcomes and experiences for people on Twitter.” Culbertson also goes on to say that algorithms are often used to protect people from harmful content. Sure, I could see that, but there’s not much money to be made in that. I think they mostly use the algorithm for biased reasons, propaganda, and to make money from advertisements!

“YouTube has approximately two billion users worldwide, and 70% of what those users watch comes from YouTube’s recommendation algorithm,” Coons said.” Two billion YouTube users, that is insane!

Lastly, this article closes by mentioning how talking about the algorithms in this context is just the “tip of the iceberg.” If that is the case, then more regulations will most likely come into play. With all of the power that these companies hold, I don’t think that would be a bad thing.


COMPLETED: 4/27/21


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