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Stop blaming Facebook’s algorithm for your boring news feed


May 28, 2015

Do you ever go on Facebook in the midst of a big newsworthy event and want to delete your account because of all of the “know-it-all” opinions consuming your newsfeed? While many believe the stories that appear on their newsfeed to be a result of a Facebook algorithm, a study conducted by Facebook data scientist, Eytan Bakshy, that examined de-identified data from the 10.1 million Facebook users who self-identify their political ideology as either liberal, moderate or conservative, showed otherwise.

Throughout the study, the team only examined hard news links, such as stories about politics, world affairs, the environment and other issues. Bakshy found that the combined effects from the newsfeed algorithm and individual choices means we do see a more limited amount of diverse hard news content on our customized Facebook feeds compared to what our friends are actually sharing.

The results of the study show that we still see ample amounts of stories that might diverge from our ideological viewpoint. The algorithm that we all believe to have a large impact on our newsfeed does help to determine what content we see, based on a variety of factors, including interaction and past history. However, in this study, Bakshy found that the algorithm has a small impact on political content.

Find out more about the study, the results, and why Bakshy found users to be the real enemy, rather than the Facebook algorithm.