Facebook is broken Whistleblower Frances Haugen says she worked for a team of integrity corporate citizens. In pre-parliamentary testimony and in the media, Hogan argued that the social giants’ algorithm contributes to illnesses ranging from mental health problems to ethnic violence among Ethiopian teens. There is no one solution to all Facebook’s problems. Not even a new name, but one of Haugen’s suggestions stood out.
“I strongly support the chronological ranking, chronologically organizing the spam demotions a little bit,” she told the Senate earlier this month. “We need human-scale software that humans can talk to, not computers that make it easier for humans to hear from whom.”
to imagine! Humans… talking… together. Haugen basically recommends the Facebook News Feed. In this feed, items are displayed as the user posted, not in the order divided by the magic of the company’s algorithm. Likes and comments don’t decide what you see in this world. Its all a matter of timing. It also prevents the algorithm from logging the platform’s most bloated posts.
This is not a very radical concept. Instagram passed the algorithm to feeds in 2016. Twitter removed chronology entirely in the same year and reintroduced it as an option in 2018. You can also demystify algorithms in the Facebook News Feed today. I’ve been doing this for the past two weeks, so I know.
To be fair, Facebook isn’t hiding the option. On the desktop, in the left pane[最新]Just click. On mobile, under the hamburger menu in the top right corner[最新]is displayed. But as Facebook itself warns, the experience is momentary. “You can sort the newsfeed to see recent posts, but the newsfeed will eventually revert to the default settings,” the company’s help page said. (or you can just please use this link Instead of facebook dot com, load the unranked experience every time. )
Perhaps not to disturb the obvious caveat: I am by no means a Facebook power user. I’ve posted three or four times a year since 2019, which were all WIRED stories or attempts to promote business for my daughter Girl Scout’s Cookie Side Hustle. My account is private and somehow a member of 14 groups, more than half of which haven’t posted anything in the past year, sporadically checked in 3 and the rest exist. Still, Honest Accounting would post me on Facebook several times a week. We call it the power of habit and it is called market-philosophy. Anyway, I’m pretty familiar with how news feeds generally work. And I was impressed by how different the experiences of a healthy chronicler were.
I also don’t want to exaggerate things. The disease that Haugen suggests can modify chronology is almost non-existent in my social media bubble in the first place. And, at least for me, I’m hesitant to say whether the experience is essentially any better than what Facebook currently offers. Anyway, what it says about Facebook is much more interesting.
I have 975 Facebook friends that I have accumulated over the past 13 years. I “like” the thing—it’s with a couple of friends who for some reason converted their profiles to Pages, in addition to a list of 15 pages, mostly news outlets. (The reason is that Cheez-Its are delicious.)
In a healthy social network, you might think that the percentage of posts from friends to brands, even in chronological mode, roughly reflects the percentage of people you follow. In fact, you don’t even need to imagine. Time-series Twitter basically works like this, with day-to-day increases and decreases that map the actual human activity of the people you follow.