Keeping an Open Mind When Algorithms Control What You Read

sam-adeleke-indabaPretty much everything you see online, from search results to your Facebook feed, is generated by algorithms. This invisible code prioritizes information that it thinks you’ll like — which can turn your online experience into an echo chamber of identical opinions. How can you keep algorithms from penning in your worldview?

samadeleke-indaba-southafrica-lionsTo start with, think about how dangerous it can be to see only things that you already agree with. Be skeptical of the veracity and comprehensiveness of your internet feeds. Make sure you’re reading widely about issues in the world, and deliberately follow people with views that differ from yours.

samadeleke-sarahsnaps-indabaBy expanding what you read and pay attention to, you’ll force the algorithms to broaden their recommendations. And occasionally get off the radar, to see an unfiltered view of the web: Put your browser in incognito mode, or search anonymously using a search engine that doesn’t track you.

 

Adapted from “How to Think for Yourself When Algorithms Control What You Read,” by Marc Zao-Sanders

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