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Category Archives: Social Media

How YouTube’s recommendations pull you away from news

Huang, S., & Yang, T. (2024). Auditing Entertainment Traps on YouTube: How Do Recommendation Algorithms Pull Users Away from News. Political Communication, 1–19.

“Recommendation algorithms that customize information feeds for individuals have raised concerns about exacerbating inequalities in news exposure among citizens. In response to these concerns, we conducted an audit study on YouTube to analyze the algorithmic impact on curating news versus other content topics. We examined over 1.7 million YouTube video recommendations audited in 2019 and developed novel analysis approaches including network analysis and Markov chains. Results show that recommendation algorithms may potentially redirect users away from news content through two influence pathways: (1) the “topical filter bubbles,” wherein entertainment content has a higher probability of being recommended over news content in a self-reinforcing manner; and (2) “algorithmic redirection,” wherein the probability of entertainment videos being recommended after a news video is much higher than that for the opposite. Overall, YouTube recommendation algorithms have a higher probability of recommending entertainment videos than news. The findings imply essential biases in algorithmic recommendations on digital platforms beyond amplifying users’ preferences.”

17 Hidden Facebook Features Only Power Users Know

PC Mag – The world’s largest social network is full of advanced features that you’re probably not using, so we dug deep into the settings menu to find the most useful ones for you. Despite its issues (and there are many), Meta’s Facebook remains today’s foremost digital public square. Politicians and journalists gravitate toward X/Twitter,… Continue Reading

There’s a Trump Presidential Library at the National Archives and It’s Hiring

No words for this via Washingtonian – “Now here’s a fun job listing: This position is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Incumbent serves as the Deputy Director of the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library within the National Archives and Records Administration. Serves as a principal advisor to the Library Director. At the… Continue Reading

Platform Response to Disinformation during the EU Election 2024

Fundacion Analysis of the responses of very large online platforms to debunked disinformation during the EU Election 2024. 1. Executive summary – The goal of this report is to evaluate how five very large online platforms (VLOPs: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X and YouTube) have responded to debunked electoral disinformation about the European Parliamentary elections… Continue Reading

How Americans Get News on TikTok, X, Facebook, Instagram

Pew – “X remains more of a news destination than other sites, but the vast majority of users on all four are seeing news-related content. Social media platforms are an important part of the American news diet: Half of U.S. adults say they get news at least sometimes from social media in general. But specific… Continue Reading

New database features 250 AI tools that can enhance social science research

Stubbs-Richardson, M., Brown, L., Paul, M., & Brenner, D., (2023). Artificial Intelligence Applications for Social Science Research. Scholars Junction, Mississippi State University. “Our team developed a database of 250 Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications useful for social science research. To be included in our database, the AI tool had to be useful for: 1) literature reviews,… Continue Reading

Post-January 6th deplatforming reduced reach of misinformation on Twitter

McCabe, S.D., Ferrari, D., Green, J. et al. Post-January 6th deplatforming reduced the reach of misinformation on Twitter. Nature 630, 132–140 (2024). “The social media platforms of the twenty-first century have an enormous role in regulating speech in the USA and worldwide. However, there has been little research on platform-wide interventions on speech. Here… Continue Reading

Operation Overload

Aleksandra Atanasova (Reset.Tech), Amaury Lesplingart (CheckFirst), Francesco Poldi (CheckFirst), Guillaume Kuster (CheckFirst) Published in June 2024 under the CC BY-SA licence. “This report exposes a large-scale, cross-country, multi-platform disinformation campaign designed to spread pro-Russian propaganda in the West, with clear indicators of foreign interference and information manipulation (FIMI). The narratives promoted by the actors are… Continue Reading

Bluesky and Mastodon users can now talk to each other with Bridgy Fed

TechCrunch: “An important step toward a more interoperable “fediverse” — the broader network of decentralized social media apps like Mastodon, Bluesky and others — has been achieved. Now, users on decentralized apps like Mastodon, powered by the ActivityPub protocol, and those powered by Bluesky’s AT Protocol, can easily follow people on other networks, see their… Continue Reading

OpenAI Is Just Facebook Now

The Atlantic [unpaywalled] “Facing one controversy after the next, the artificial-intelligence company enters a new phase. OpenAI appears to be in the midst of a months-long revolt from within. The latest flash point came yesterday, when a group of 11 current and former employees—plus two from other firms—issued a public letter declaring that leading AI… Continue Reading

Identifying and characterizing superspreaders of low-credibility content on Twitter

DeVerna MR, Aiyappa R, Pacheco D, Bryden J, Menczer F (2024) Identifying and characterizing superspreaders of low-credibility content on Twitter. PLoS ONE 19(5): e0302201. “The world’s digital information ecosystem continues to struggle with the spread of misinformation. Prior work has suggested that users who consistently disseminate a disproportionate amount of low-credibility content—so-called superspreaders—are at… Continue Reading

The New Generation of Online Culture Curators

The New Yorker [unpaywalled]: “In a digital landscape overrun by algorithms and A.I., we need human guides to help us decide what’s worth paying attention. The current Internet landscape sometimes feels like the Zone in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film “Stalker”: directionless, inexplicable, bound to change in confusing ways. Our social-media feeds don’t offer much except the… Continue Reading