Facebook experiments with democracy in 6 developing countries as part of their running test of the new feature called "Explore Feed". Facebook implements this feed to separate public posts from private posts on people's newsfeeds. But in countries like Slovakia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, or Cambodia, Facebook users all of a sudden stopped seeing important news coverage from credible sources. This experiment with democracy adds up to the list of Facebook attempts to manipulate newsfeed for "research purposes". These feature currently running in the chosen countries isn't planned to roll out globally.
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About the experiment in Slovakia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Serbia, and Bolivia:
Facebook emotional manipulation
Facebook election manipulation
The New York Times is also paranoid like me about Facebook's power to influence everything that's going on around the world and around you.
Facebook has started experimenting with democracy in six small countries around the world. In Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia, Facebook removed all professional media and content from Facebook pages from the main newsfeed. The main newsfeed will now see only posts by friends and sponsors and everything else is supposed to be in its designated Explore Feed.
The purpose of splitting the feeds as in Facebook’s own words has been to separate personal content from public.
In these six countries, Facebook removed all established publishers’ content from the main feed, even coming from those sources users chose to follow. All of these countries coincidentally have ongoing democratic development and their political climate is very eruptive. Overnight, these people have stopped seeing important coverage from outlets they decided to follow.
The main personal feed is nowhere near personal either. Facebook will let paid content through. Which means that established advertisers will see their content popping through. Huge mainstream media corporations will essentially manage to get through the paywall in form of advertisements. But important coverage and content from smaller publishers, and new start-ups who rely on the social media interactions will be burned down.
'Hush' by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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