On the ‘We the People’ rally, or when the Facebook bubble float into real life

MINOT, N.D. — We all know that the algorithms used to feed us content on social media platforms, Facebook in particular, can be isolating. They feed us what we want to hear to the point where the window through which so many Americans see the world — politics, culture, their communities, etc. — becomes an echo chamber.

Social media promotes the “formation of homogeneous, polarized clusters” of humanity, a research paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, has confirmed this finding. “The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” she told CBS. “And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”

This is the Facebook bubble. It’s real, and it’s harming our society. Worse, these bubbles seem to be metastasizing into other areas of life.

Consider the “We the People” rally held Sunday in Bismarck at the beginning of the Legislature’s special session where attendees expressed their disdain for vaccines and the people who support vaccines.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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