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The Facebook Algorithm Is Watching You

Here’s one way to confuse it.


You can tell a lot about a person from how they react to something.

That’s why Facebook’s various “Like” buttons are so powerful. Clicking a reaction icon isn’t just a way to register an emotional response, it’s also a way for Facebook to refine its sense of who you are. So when you “Love” a photo of a friend’s baby, and click “Angry” on an article about the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl, you’re training Facebook to see you a certain way: You are a person who seems to love babies and hate Tom Brady.

The more you click, the more sophisticated Facebook’s idea of who you are becomes. (Remember: Although the reaction choices seem limited now—Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry—up until around this time last year, there was only a “Like” button.)

This matters because of what Facebook might then do with its sense of your baby-loving, Tom-Brady-hating self. It might mean that Facebook will show you more photos of babies and fewer articles about football, which in turn might affect which friends appear more frequently and prominently in your News Feed. And that might affect your perception of the world.

Read more at The Atlantic