Often, ads and posts appear in our social media feeds because we are tracking where we have been in cyberspace. This is often a sign that we are trying to find out more about who we really are.
Congress wants to regulate the tools social media companies use for surveillance.
Filter Bubble Transparency Act is a bipartisan law that requires internet companies like Facebook and YouTube to allow users to opt out from AI-powered content recommendation engines that use our personal data to provide us with ads. to show.
Some social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, let users switch from algorithmic news feeds and display posts chronologically.
This means that what you see depends on what pages have posted content, not what you’ve seen in the past or what social media believes you want to see.
YouTube allows users to disable autoplay, which suggests videos based solely on their personal information.
Newsy interviewed algorithm experts, who agreed that the legislation was a good step in the right direction. However, the regulations were still not perfect and would be difficult to implement.
Robin Burke, University of Colorado Professor, said that while we may not want to see things in a chronological order, it might give people more control over the system or at least a better understanding of its workings.
“I’d love to be able to do this kind of semi-incognito where I just say, ‘Hey Facebook, turn off’ — not the recommendation algorithm, but ‘turn off data reading’. Professor Noah Giansiracusa from Bentley University said, “I won’t remain anonymous but none of the engagement actions I take will be used to determine the algorithm.” “And once I’m ready I can turn that semi-incognito back on again and it will read all my data.”
Some entrepreneurs have already begun to offer an algorithmic experience. MeWe CEO Mark Weinstein stated that MeWe was created for people who want a social media experience without relying on personal data-based advertisements.
He stated that the legislation doesn’t stop companies supporting their data-driven business model.
“This legislation that would try to impose a translucent and opaque experience – if the user wanted it to – the social network would still collect massive amounts of data, and every time the user turned it on, it would use all that data,” said Weinstein.
Experts suggest creating tools to slow down the spread of false and conspiracy-related content.
Filippo Menczer is the director of Indiana University’s Observatory on Social Media. He told Newsy that he discovered that users share less verifiable and lower-quality content if they see many shared posts. You can also add comments, likes, and shares to the posts.
Menczer stated, “We have moved to a frictionless system of communication.” We need to create friction in order to make the ecosystem more difficult to manipulate and to help us cope with flooding. We are more able to distinguish quality information from junk when we know what information overload looks like.