The News Feed on Facebook is highly filtered and curated presentation, generated from a complex set of algorithms that track your activity both on Facebook and the wider Web.
To get some insight into how the feed is generated, Mat Honan from Wired carried out an interesting little experiment: for two days straight, he liked absolutely everything that appeared on his Facebook News Feed.
The results were a little alarming. His own news feed - and also those of many of his friends - changed dramatically. Suddenly his feed was turned into a minefield of radically right-wing news articles, unwanted marking messages, content farm output, absurd inanities...and zero content from his friends.
Given how many people these days seem to depend on Facebook for their news, I think it's a little scary how dramatically the content is dictated by careless clicks and imperfect algorithms. And it'd be naïve to think that the only goal of these algorithms is to generate the most interesting possible content for your News Feed.
This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other. We set up our political and social filter bubbles and they reinforce themselves—the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests. We go down rabbit holes of special interests until we’re lost in the queen’s garden, cursing everyone above ground.