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Facebook Feed an Echo Chamber? You’ve Only Got Yourself to Blame

It seems you just can’t win with Facebook’s tricky feed algorithm

Facebook has revealed that you’ve only got yourself to blame when it comes to your crappy Facebook feed, and either way you just can’t win. It’s either full of pants statuses you don’t care about, or the same humdrum views and opinions of your own. Either way, Facebook says it’s your fault if you feel your feed isn’t diverse enough.

The social network recently conducted a study to discover why people mostly see statuses and posts on their feed which mirror their own beliefs and aren’t as diverse as some people wish. The social network revealed that they were looking to see if a “filter bubble” is to blame. What’s a “filter bubble”? You’re probably asking yourself. Well it’s pretty simple, a filter bubble is something that happens when a website’s algorithm shows you items based on your interactions, like comments, likes, and shares.

Facebook used anonymous data from around 10.1 million Facebook users who listed their political affiliations on their profiles monitoring what the network is calling “hard news” links posted on the social network taking note on who they were posted by, conservatives, liberals, or moderates. The results aren’t that surprising considering politics are involved.

“While News Feed surfaces content that is slightly more aligned with an individual’s own ideology (based on that person’s actions on Facebook), who they friend and what content they click on are more consequential than the News Feed ranking in terms of how much diverse content they encounter.”

Simply put, while the filter bubble is slightly present, it actually has hardly any effect on the overall news feeds of the individuals studied. Instead Facebook noted that it’s down to the people you’re friends with that cause the “echo chamber” effect on your news feed adding “birds of a feather flock together.”

More often than not, especially when it comes to politics and peoples strong views on the matter, it’s likely that you’re either going to unfollow those you don’t agree with, or simply just removing them leaving a pool of “friends” with similar views to yours. This year’s General Election in the UK certainly proves that, at least for me anyway. I removed several people off of my Facebook feed thanks to their daft political views.